A culture can be defined as a set of established beliefs and practices. Those practices reflect a system of values. When the culture demonstrates practices that break principles that were in place, you will begin to witness what Orrin Woodward and Oliver DeMille write in their best selling book Leadershift as “The Law of Diminishing Returns’. This type of negative result can be seen in relationships, businesses, and even our country. It’s much more difficult to restore behavior that leads to productivity than it is to maintain it.
If the culture demonstrates non - productive behavior it effects us and our lives. It’s reflected in the conflicts in our relationships, stress in our lives, and our economic conditions. A culture that exhibits poor behavior leads to a stagnant murky current. A stagnant and murky current can be measured as we witness the government’s health care insurance. With the government’s health care we can see ‘Gresham’s Law’ and the ‘Law of Diminishing Returns’ clearly in full effect from an incompetent bureaucracy. These practices and behaviors lead to the ‘Law of Inertia’ that makes it appear that a decline is inevitable. Although a non - productive culture is very difficult to restore it’s not impossible. That is why leadership is so valuable to our personal lives, our businesses, and our country.
The good news is that leaders create the culture. This creates the current where productive values, beliefs, and practices flow. This can be in our personal lives with relationships and finance or our businesses or even our country. Jim Collins who wrote the book Good to Great recognized that the upward trend a business took was when the leadership in that company took effect. This can translate all the way from our personal life to our country because the formula for a successful culture is leadership. Leaders learn, adjust, and grow. By performing they test their practices, make appropriate adjustments, and get results. They use a scoreboard as a measuring tool. A scoreboard gives feedback on how the culture is doing whether it reflects a relationship, business, or country Leaders are not driven by credentials. They are driven from principles and that correlates to character and integrity. When a culture is developed from principle it sets a standard where beliefs and practices develop. This establishes a current. A current is the speed of the culture. A positive current (unlike the murky, stagnant water from a culture that embraces non - productive behavior) leads to a deep, fast channel that magnifies growth and productivity.
In the LIFE Leadership LLR CD 587, ‘Louis Gerstner: Orchestrating a Turnaround’, Orrin Woodward notes the areas Gerstner addressed as his priorities when he took over to save the sinking company of IBM. Gerstner studied the key indicators better known as the scoreboard to determine where his business was winning or loosing. The first area he addressed was culture. He established that culture through relationships by improving communication. He set practices with the words and attitudes they used in the company. He established a learning culture. Leaders learn when they read, listen, and associate. The communication was conveyed to their constituents in what Tim Marks describes in the Life Training 67 CD as “Repeated small doses.” Gerstner also developed a culture of teamwork and service. He looked for other leaders who could solve problems and get results. When the right culture was established it created a deep, straight riverbed in which the principles and practices of success flowed throughout the environment with speed and strength. The positive current magnified and multiplied their efforts. Gerstner shows how any leader can orchestrate and manage change.
With the right leaders, system, and association, successful practices can be taught. I recently was invited to the Lennox heating and air conditioning yearly convention where my friend Dave Chatmon led a turnaround. I witnessed the results of his leadership and the use of the LIFE Leadership system. I learned that around four years ago he inherited a Territory where there was no leadership. This was reflected on the dealer’s behaviors and practices. Lennox Wisconsin was last in the nation in sales and service. Although it is very difficult to change a current, a leader recognizes what needs to be done and exhibits the leadership qualities it takes to develop the culture of productivity. I came to the convention and witnessed a turnaround. Granted it was not on the scale of IBM but it was on the state level. A leadership culture was developed over a four - year period with the assistance of the LIFE Leadership products. Now the Lennox Wisconsin current is moving and they are rated number one in sales in the nation. Needless to say the VP of Lennox global was in attendance and was taking notes. Again we see that leadership is where the value is for the company, whether on a local, state, national, or global scale.
Leaders create the culture. The culture creates the results. The results create the current. When the current is moving it magnifies and multiplies. People get caught up in effective and productive behaviors. Enhancements are noticed in people’s lives. Businesses become successful. Communities begin to thrive. The nation can be a place for a better future. This effects people. People begin to have hope in a better future. The people and a nation then see a vision of something better. They begin to expect a better future. They feel the effect of a leadership culture. God Bless, George Guzzardo