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In the realm of leadership, my culture statement resonates with simplicity and impact: “Ordinary People, Getting the Right Things Done.” I firmly believe that culture statements should be SURE: Simple, Understandable, Reasonable, and Executable, avoiding the convoluted definitions often found in academic discourse.

Allow me to unpack this culture definition, a core element of my leadership development program, “Adaptive Leadership: Concepts to Real-World Practice.” I complement this statement with curated tools, recognizing that leadership is cycles of constant practice adapting to our dynamic human context.

The phrase “Ordinary People” might not initially inspire, and that’s intentional. Every leader – is ordinary. There are no culture superheroes in your organization today; you are the catalyst for change. Sharing this insight with clients places the responsibility squarely on the employment relationship and organizational culture—where it belongs.

But let’s take it a step further. Ordinary leaders can become extra-ordinary through continuous practice, embracing mistakes, and making amends with their teams. Extra-ordinary leaders display strength by being highly helpful and assertive, aligning their actions with both employee needs and organizational goals.

Ordinary leaders assume the role of coaches, articulating what winning looks and feels like. They comprehend how each role collaborates systematically to achieve organizational goals. They foster “communication for understanding,” transparently discussing excellence and openly addressing mistakes and failures.

“Getting the right stuff done” is the focal point, emphasizing prioritization over distraction and waste. Many organizations burden their employees with wasteful tasks, contributing to company dysfunction. Pseudo-emergencies, policies, processes, bureaucracy, and tolerance for bad behavior are indicators that something is amiss. Why is this tolerated?

Ordinary leaders, committed to their craft, should not accept such waste. Unfortunately, even successful organizations often do. How does this impact your people? Does it foster an engaged workforce?

The pursuit of being extra-ordinary, as laudable as it may seem, is not about grandeur. It’s about consistently practicing effective leadership, prioritizing what matters, and creating a culture where “getting the right things done” is not just a goal but a way of life.

Contact KBD Consulting to learn more about our Leadership Development Program: Adaptive Leadership: Concepts to Real World Practice.

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