When I heard Dabo Swinney speak a couple weeks ago, I was surprised how much time he spent talking about culture. Swinney is the very successful head coach of the Clemson University football team. I wrote about Swinney in an earlier post where I talked about being ready for your opportunities when they come, Making the Most of Your Opportunities.
Swinney is so successful because he devotes much time and effort to creating a positive culture for his team. He said,”Culture in your program will decide whether your strategy works.” Management guru Peter Drucker said it this way, “Culture eats strategy for breakfast.”
In other words, we can develop the best strategies in the world, but if we don’t have an organizational culture that allows, and encourages, our team to perform to their maximum potential, the strategy really won’t matter. This is because it is the culture that drives behavior in an organization. And behaviors are what drives action. So if we want to get the most out of our strategies, we have to support them with a positive, motivating, collaborative culture.
Swinney summed it up perfectly when he said, “Great leaders create great culture.” A great culture is one that supports and encourages, among other things, teamwork, collaboration, trust, integrity, loyalty, positivity, enthusiasm, effort, resilience, and persistence. If you want to be a great leader, you need to work hard to create a great culture. It’s what great leaders do.
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