Is your organization suffering in a “good-enough” culture? Here’s how leaders conquer “good-enough” and go from mediocre to excellent.

Excellence is a better teacher than mediocrity. ~ Warren Bennis

I’ve been reading about organizations who are committed to excellence. At its foundation is understanding and care. This may seem obvious, but what I hear in my coaching practice, it can be challenging to consistently communicate excellence – you’ve got to walk the talk.

Leaders can demonstrate their care and understanding by applying four principles, suggested by Subir Chowdhury, in his book, The Difference: When Good Enough Isn’t Enough:


Be Truthful/Direct: Instill a culture of transparency and honesty. Deal with trials directly and openly, and reduce fear by welcoming feedback. Give responsibility to staff to bring issues to the table and tackle them, with the incentive to solve them. Accept bad news, and respond with fairness and understanding to establish higher levels of emotional safety, accountability, and excellence.

People learn to care about the day-to-day issues, and have a greater sense of empowerment to make things work better. Small successes lead to more, and succeeding becomes attractive. A leader who cares about making things right for everyone will create a following of people who want to do the same. Being truthful and direct builds trust. And trust breeds higher standards. Good enough is no longer good enough.

Be Considerate: Be attentive to your team. Show them they’re valued by engaging them, listening to them, and understanding them. Listen with empathy. Demonstrate your understanding of what your team members are experiencing and how things can be improved for them. Be humble, genuine, helpful, and unselfish.

People respond by returning a leader’s consideration with consideration of their own. They know they’re affirmed and appreciated, and this causes them to care about what the leader cares about, as well as each of their contributions. The staff becomes thankful and returns the leader’s thoughtfulness with their best efforts. Quality becomes a desired trait of their work, because good enough is no longer acceptable.

In my next post, I’ll share two other principles leaders can apply to conquer a good-enough culture. Let me know if these help. I’d love to hear from you. You can call me at 561-582-6060, let’s talk. And as always, I can be reached here or on LinkedIn.

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