Culture Eats Vision for Lunch

As an Executive Director within the John Maxwell Team, I have the distinct privilege to have access to a group of mentors and coaches that is second to none.  One of those is Mark Cole. He is the CEO of 5 of the Maxwell companies. Every week I have the opportunity to get on a call with him and listen to him teach about the latest in leadership as well as the leadership issues he and John are wrestling with right now. A few weeks ago Mark made a statement that got me thinking.

“Culture Eats Vision for Lunch”

First maybe we should answer: What is culture?  Culture, as I think about it, is the very essence of the company. It is the frequently-used and common words, the actions that are acted out day to day inside an organization, the expectations that are caught, and the overall feeling one gets being part of the team.

So why does culture eat vision for lunch? Vision is the grand ideal that you are trying to get to, while culture is the here and now. If your culture does not fall in line with your vision you will never fulfill the vision. Culture is the road that will take the company to the vision and it can not be faked. The true culture is always evident.

Anyone can paint a vision, but not everyone can create a healthy culture. This is the hard work of great leadership.

Hardest Thing You Will Ever Do

I read a weekly devotional called “Leadership Promises for Your Week” by John C. Maxwell.

This week has been around the topic of Leading from within. Maxwell talks about four points about leading yourself that struck a chord in me.

He states:

“The first person you lead is you – and you can’t lead effectively without self-discipline. Leaders must …

  1. Develop and follow your priorities.
  2. Challenge your excuses.
  3. Remove rewards until you finish the job.
  4. Stay focused on results, and never trade what you want at the moment for what you want most.”

It was this last point of not caving in to the temptations of the short-term satisfaction and holding out for the long term-reward that got me thinking. Leading ourselves is the hardest of all leadership challenges.

So, I asked myself two questions:

  1. How am I doing at this?
  2. Do I consistently choose to say no to the things in front of me, so I can stay focused on my highest priority and reach my most important goals?

Sorry to say, I need to work at this. I get distracted easily. How about you?

Excuses me my phone buzzed. Be right back.

Voting: For Elected Officials, but Also For Yourself

Today is Election Day for those of us in the Commonwealth. It’s my belief that voting for our elected officials is one of the most important responsibilities we have as US citizens. As I mentioned yesterday, taking responsibly is key to creating the life you desire.

Yet, so few people vote, and those that don’t are often the ones who blame, whine and complain the most about eventual outcomes. And this phenomenon isn’t limited to public elections. Every day, you choose whether to vote on a myriad of things.

What other things can you vote for in your life?

  • Vote to believe in yourself
  • Vote to believe in someone else
  • Vote to take that one action today that makes your tomorrow better
  • Vote to find your passion and live life to its fullest
  • Vote to improve your leadership skills in 2018

You can vote for yourself or against yourself in so many areas of life, so I want to encourage you to do two things today.

  1. Vote for your elected officials — it’s your duty and responsibility as an American citizen.
  2. Vote for yourself to make 2018 the best year yet.