In his recent leadership training, Dave Anderson helped us to take a no-nonsense look at ourselves – both our strengths and our weaknesses. Dave defined several Strong and Weak Cultural Words in his discussion. Here is a great summary of that taken from one of his recent blog posts. What thoughts and comments do you have?
By Dave Anderson; Learn To Lead
Words that work and must be woven into culture:
Earn: to acquire through merit.
Deserve: to be worthy of; to qualify for.
Consistent: constantly adhering to the same principles.
Hope: grounds for believing something in the future will happen.
Catalyst: a person or thing that makes something happen.
Responsible: to be the primary cause of something.
Tough-minded: strong willed, vigorous, not easily swayed.
Loyal: faithfulness to one’s duties or obligations.
Passion: a strong feeling or enthusiasm about something, or about doing something.
Discipline: an activity, regimen, or exercise that develops or improves a habit or skill.
Commit: to pledge oneself to something.
Prune: to remove what is undesirable.
Wise: having or showing good judgement.
Words that hurt and must be weeded out of culture:
Fault: responsibility for failure.
Blame: to assign responsibility for failure.
Excuse: a plea offered to explain away a fault or failure.
Mediocre: average, ordinary, not outstanding.
Wish: to want something that cannot, or probably will not happen.
Entitle: a claim to something you feel you are owed.
Sloth: reluctance to work or exert effort; laziness.
Complacent: calmly content, smugly self-satisfied.
Maintain: to cause (something) to exist or continue without changing.
Apathy: a lack of enthusiasm, interest or concern.
Interest: to be curious about. (as opposed to being committed).
Foolish: lacking good sense or judgment.
The word diligent is defined as “giving constant effort to accomplish something.” High performing cultures are those where the right things are done consistently, and where the team members diligently persist to see those right activities come to completion.
In order to maximize results, discipline must precede diligence. In other words, one must be disciplined enough to choose and execute the highest leverage tasks from the outset, and to say “no” to the distractions that arise in the process, before diligence is beneficial. Frankly, giving constant effort to stick with, or accomplish, the wrong something, or a low-return something, hurts an organization and stifles results.
The word consistent is a cousin of diligent. To be consistent means to “constantly adhere to the same principles”. Thus discipline chooses the right activity or principle; consistency ensures those same things are done repeatedly, and diligence ensures the actions are not only initiated but followed through to a successful completion.
Discipline, consistent and diligent are critical success traits demonstrated by highly successful people, and are a trait of highly performing cultures overall. Without discipline you’ll consistently put second things first, as you diligently move forward majoring in minor things.