How leaders create a culture of excellence?

By June 25, 2015Uncategorized

road-to-excellenceGreat leaders not only maintain high standards, but they are proactive in raising the bar in order to achieve excellence in themselves and their organization. Working with brands such as Marriott, Hilton, Starwood and IHG for 20+ years, I am no stranger to excellence. Every hotel and restaurant that I worked with strives for excellence in everything they do.

We can all achieve excellence, if we make small daily efforts to change our habits and examine our attitudes.

Success is the sum of our habits. As Aristotle said, “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence is not an act but a habit.” It’s not only a thought, but a direct result of our daily behaviors.

One of the reasons that I love facilitating workshops on brand excellence, is the ability to connect with everyone in the organization and see how their habits and attitudes can shape a culture. Some companies are more dedicated to culture development then others. It shows in their results.

At the core of what I experience was collaboration and team work that prevailed over individual success. Team work definitely makes the dream work in a culture of excellence.

So, let me share with you some ideas about excellence and how you as a leader can take action to change your culture for the better starting today. Excellence is not an accident, but a journey to being the best you can be and not settle for average.

Building Your Excellence Vision

Truly great leaders understand the difference between what should never change and what should be open for change. Excellence is obtaining the highest quality while maintaining the highest standards of character and service.

All great leaders have goals. The primary component of a vision framework is an envisioned future. It consists of audacious goal plus detailed description of what it will be like to achieve the goal together. It involves a time yet unrealized—with its dreams, hopes, and aspirations. BHAGs-Big, Hairy, Audacious Goals can help begin this process. A BHAG is clear, compelling, and acts as a catalyst for team momentum. It is very result oriented, so the people know when it has achieved that goal.

Here are some questions to help you assess effectiveness of your vision:

Is our vision statement discussed regularly with every employee in the company? Is it engaging? Does it creates a buy-in? Is our vision statement relevant to our goals and what we do every day?

Values Driven

Many companies have stablished core values at some point in the evolution of their business. But how many of them can show you that they live those values day in and day out?

Core values are the essential and enduring tenets of any successful company. Everyone in the organization must know them and live them in order to create excellence. Not once in a while but consistently. Those values can be a small set of timeless guiding principles that help shape your culture.

To identify the core values of your own organization, push with relentless honesty to define what values are truly central. They should be no more than three to four to keep it relevant and stand the test of time.

Attract and select the best talent

Excellent companies don’t settle for mediocre talent. Companies such as Ritz Carlton, Southwest Airlines and Disney go through a vigorous selection process to not only attract the best, but to keep the best on their teams. As a leader, you need to evaluate your selection process and set a high standard on the talent you want in your organization.  You have a choice on who to bring in and whether they fit your company culture. It take time, effort and commitment to getting it right the first time.

Synergy and Teamwork

In order to create a culture of excellence, you need everyone to collectively be part of this journey. In excellent organizations, people feel that they are part of something meaningful and can contribute through personal service. Great leaders understand that they need others in order to be great.


Last but not least, is to create consistent culture of accountability throughout your organization. Excellence cannot be achieved without consistency, accountability, teamwork and empowerment. If we want to see changes in our culture, accountability is our friend.  There must be a coaching and improvement process to help your employees raise their bar to excellence.

I would love to learn more about excellence from you. Drop me an email with a quick message and we can connect to learn from each other.




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