Why You Need to Put Culture Before Strategy

Daniel Montgomery Culture

DANIEL MONTGOMERY Founder & CEO Leadership Reality “Culture eats strategy for breakfast.” This quote has been floating around the business world for a while. It’s often credited to Peter Drucker, but the jury’s still out on who really said it first.  Mark Fields—former president and CEO of Ford—summed it up nicely: “You can have the best plan in the world, and if the culture isn’t going to let it happen, it’s going to die on the vine.”  What Drucker/Fields/Whoever is saying is spot-on. You can go ahead and pay a consultant big money to draft the most incredible strategic plan anyone has ever seen. But, if you don’t have the culture to support it, that plan will be dead on arrival. Have We Heard Something Like That Before? To my ears, this sounds like a slight variation on a theme we find in Jesus’ ministry. Once, Jesus ripped into a …

Where Are You Right Now? 7 Signs of the Unaware Leader

Daniel Montgomery Reality

DANIEL MONTGOMERY Founder & CEO Leadership Reality As I shared last time, self-awareness is the key to high performance. Tasha Eurich—an organizational psychologist and New York Times best-selling author—has a lot to say about that in her book, Insight: Why We’re Not as Self-Aware as we Think. Referring to self-awareness as the “meta-skill of the 21st century,” Eurich writes: “[T]he qualities most critical for success in today’s world—things like emotional intelligence, empathy, influence, persuasion, communication, and collaboration—all stem from self-awareness. To put it another way, if we’re not self-aware, it’s almost impossible to master the skills that make us stronger team players, superior leaders, and better relationship builders—at work and beyond.” For me, Eurich’s most startling research finding was just how oblivious we are to our obliviousness. 95% of people think they’re self-aware, yet only 10-15% actually are. “For most people, it’s easier to choose self-delusion,” she says, “over the …

leadership development

Who Are You and What Are You Doing Here?

Daniel Montgomery Reality

DANIEL MONTGOMERY Founder & CEO Leadership Reality A friend once told me a parable that went something like this: About 2000 years ago, a Rabbi ambled along the way, paying more attention to the little plumes of dust kicked up by his feet than to where he was going.  When the Rabbi meandered a touch too close to the provincial governor’s estate, a soldier appeared, clad in armor with a sword on his hip.  “Who are you and what are you doing here?” The Rabbi stopped and looked up. “What did you say?” “Who are you and what are you doing here?” The Rabbi pondered deeply for a moment. “Son, I don’t know what they’re paying you, but I’ll give you double to come stand by my tent and ask me those two questions every morning.” Who are you and what are you doing here? Since stepping down as the …