The strength of a culture is woven into a fabric over time, through many small actions. Alone, each thread is weak, but together the tensile strength is high: from strong canvas we may stitch a sail to carry us forwards.
Sometimes we can be so focussed on the benefits this fabric will give us that we forget to tend to the warp and weft.
Individually, as leader, or led, as newcomer or old, we each pull threads: through encounters and interaction we weave and knot them. Through trust and kindness we tease the yarn: through conflict and inequity we strain or tug, fraying the fabric.
Through these myriad moments the cloth is made, but only when the storm hits is the canvas tested.
Strength, when held in culture, is strength in depth, at scale. And similarly weakness, when held in culture, exhibits rifts and tears.
For me, Quiet Leadership considers the importance of humility, kindness, fairness, and grace, in finding that strength, but these are not universal threads. The challenge for each Organisations, and leader within it, is to consider which thread they pull, and how that canvas is woven. And to ask whether they are paying attention to the thread in front of them, or dreaming of the sail that others will weave.