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.