Chapter 31Weave in Catalyst, Responsible, and Lead

The Challenge

Too many leaders seem to believe that eventually, a strong culture will take care of itself. They believe that after they've paid their dues and built the right foundation, they can hit the snooze button and see excellence continue ad infinitum. Where they once were proactive shapers of culture, they became passive maintainers of an enterprise in decline. By wrongly thinking culture was a to do item they could cross off a list and declare as “finished,” they rendered their own leadership impact as “finished” instead.

A One-Word Leadership Job Description

In our quest to keep things simple, let me suggest my favorite one-word job description of a leader: catalyst. Here's how I see a catalyst: a thing or person that makes something happen.

It's safe to assume that thinking like a catalyst precedes acting like one. Thus, here's a quick test to evaluate your catalytic mind-set in creating culture, execution, and results. Note how many of these questions, or versions of these questions, you ask yourself as you begin work each day:

  • “What can I get started today?”
  • “Whom can I get started today?”
  • “Whom can I leave better than I find today?”
  • “How can I lead by example today?”
  • “What can I do to make a difference today?”

In a culture where rhythm of accountability meetings (RAMs) are consistent, master the art of execution (MAX) acts are meaningful, MAX boards are compelling, pruning is consistent, and the ultimate few ...

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