Chapter 27The Core Competency Pillar

The Challenge

Leaders commonly take their organizations' strengths for granted; they do so precisely because they are strong. As a result, they divert resources and talent away from these core competencies and into marginal areas—their weaknesses. Although you shouldn't ignore your weaknesses, ignoring your strengths makes reaching your fullest potential impossible. In fact, although working on your weaknesses may help you get by, it's leveraging your strengths (your core competencies) that can lift you to greatness. Here is a major problem with investing too much time in weaknesses: You feel like you are always playing catch-up, are coming from behind, and never have the upper hand on execution momentum as you pursue the ultimate few objectives (TUFs). Oftentimes you're not even playing to win; rather, you're just trying not to give up the ground you have gained in the past. The results of this choice include frustration, stress, and lack of fulfillment.

The Big Three

Thus far, I have presented three of the five pillars of culture:

  1. Core values
  2. Mission
  3. Performance standards

Core competencies are aspects of your enterprise and components of your culture that a peer or competitor would look at and say, “I wish we did x as well as they do.” Core competencies may cover an array of areas, such as hiring, training, follow-up, customer retention, inventory turn, or employee engagement. In addition to building on the competencies you currently ...

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