The Culture of Greatness

It’s the most important thing a leader can do because culture drives behavior, behavior drives habits and habits create the future. As the leaders at Apple say, “Culture beats strategy all day long.”

When you create a culture of greatness you create a collective mindset in your organization that expects great things to happen-even during challenging times. You expect your people to be their best, you make it a priority to coach them to be their best and most of all you create a work environment that fuels them to be their best.

A culture of greatness creates an expectation that everyone in the organization be committed to excellence. It requires leaders and managers to put the right people in the right positions where they are humble and hungry and willing to work harder them everyone else. A culture of greatness dictates that each person use their gifts and strengths to serve the purpose and mission of the organization. And it means that you don’t just bring in the best people, but you also bring out the best in your people. If you are thinking that this sounds like common sense, it is. But unfortunately far too many organizations expect their people to be their best but they don’t invest their time and energy to help them be their best nor do they create an environment that is conducive to success. They want great results but they are not willing to do what it takes to create a culture of greatness.

A culture of greatness requires that you find the right people that fit your culture. Then you coach them, develop them, mentor them, train them and empower them to do what they do best. As part of this process you develop positive leaders who share positive energy throughout the organization because positive energy flows from the top down. You also don’t allow negativity to sabotage the moral, performance and success or your organization. You deal with negativity at the cultural level so your people can spend their time focusing on their work instead of fighting energy vampires. And you find countless ways to enhance communication, build trust and create engaged relationships that are the foundation upon which winning teams are built.

If creating a culture of greatness sounds like a lot of work, it is, but not as much work as dealing with the crises, problems and challenges associated with negative, dysfunctional and sub-par cultures. While most organizations waste a lot of time putting out fires you can spend your time building a great organization that rises above the competition.

  • My boss/friend sent me this and it is really great.  She didn’t write it, but we will she if she follows it.   In every endeavor I wish to uphold “The Culture of Greatness.”


“When you’re good at something it create a confidence, when your insecure about something it creates an arrogance.”  Gordan Ramsey

Passion is energy. Feel the power that comes from focusing on what excites you.” Ludacris

These two quotes really struck me.  I see so many people around me who are so arrogant about what they do and when Gordon said that about this kid on Master Chef, it became all so clear.  When you are insecure about something, then you come off arrogant because you don’t want to be found out as a fraud.  But, confidence comes out of being good at something.

And, Ludacris is my new philosopher.  He is absolutely correct on this one.  Passion is energy.  I love that.  If you are passionate about something, you will get up early for it.  You will stay up late for it.  You will do it for free. Passion fuels energy and you are energetic about what you are passionate about.  Maybe that is why I am tired.  I am not passionate about what I do.  I get no energy from what I do.

What am I passionate about?

Tattoos – eat, breath and sleep information about tattoos.  I will stay up late and get up early for something related to tattoo.  I look up information on tattoos instead of working.

Food – i am down right obsessive about food.  I will stay up late, wake up early and think about it for days.  Right now, I am thinking about what I am going to eat on Sunday (Breakfast at Flying Pan and Dinner at Ruth Chris). I watch cooking competition shows because of the food porn.  Top Chef, Top Chef Masters, Master Chef, Rocco’s Dinner Party.  All brilliant television.  Megan’s fried chicken and creamed greens looked so good on the finale of MasterChef. I make a list of restaurants I have to eat at when I go back home to America and mark them off once of have eaten there. I spend a lot a time on food and it gives me energy, literally and theoretically.

So, here is my dilemma.  I can’t get a tattoo every time I want to.  I can’t work in a tattoo shop and I don’t think I will have the opportunity to meet, date, fall in love and marry Ami James.  And food, I can’t eat it all the time. I can’t eat what I want everyday all day.  I can’t eat Flying pan for breakfast, pizza hut for lunch and ruth chris for dinner every day.

I need to find my passion and make it my profession.

I tend to gravitate towards wanting to learn more about people who have a talent and get to do that talent for a job; e.g., chefs, tattoo artist, dancers, singers.  Not actors so much because I think that is a learned skill.  But, the others are talents.  You have to be born with the gift and then with opportunity and study you become good at it.  It is those things that people do and then it makes them smile and feel good after.  Like the way a singer feels after singing a song.

I watched “Never, Say Never” – Justin Beiber Movie.  You can tell he loves to sing and entertain.  At the end of singing that song with just himself and his guitar player her had that look on this face.  That pure bliss look.  That is what happens when people are passion about something.  It physically feels good to get to do that task.

It is the same satisfaction I imagine a dancer feels after a number or an artist feels after he finishes a piece.

Does writing give me that high? I don’t know.  I like doing this.  I like spending time on putting my thoughts in written form.  I like that they are there now forever.  Although not for every one to consume just yet.  Maybe someday.  But, they are there and it makes me happy.  Do I do it every day? No.  Do I stay up late to do it or wake up early to do it?  No.  I could, but I don’t.  I am not passionate about it.

How do I find what I am passionate about because where I am at and what I am doing right now is not my passion?

I am going to dedicate the next 18 months to finding what my passion is and pursuing it with all my heart.

The biggest mistake . . .

“The biggest mistake we make as human beings is thinking that everyone sees life the way we see it.”  – Ludacris (Didn’t no realizes he was so prothetic.  This from the man who gave us “Roll Out”. Smile!

I dont usually have this problem, some times, but not all the time.  I know people around me who have this problem big time.  Someone who doesn’t understand why people don’t see what she sees and thinks how they thinks.  She would rather get angry and see people fail instead of teaching them what she knows and what she expects.  Teach someone something and you both are happy.

Another big mistake people make is expecting others to feel like you feel about something.  I care about it so you have to care about it.  How self centered is that kind of thinking?

Another big mistake is putting other down so you feel better or wishing others fail too because of your own failings. How sad is your existence if it can only be bolstered by the failings of others?  And how can you measure your own happiness on the failings of another?

If you can find joy, hope, happiness and peace in others triumphs and listen, learn and grow from someone else’s tragedies, then you are always moving in positive light.

Live life in this way and perhaps your triumphs and tragedies will be the stuff that helps others as well.