Creating the Culture of Extraordinary Business

This is the final post in a three-part series. Review part one, “The Authentic Business,” or part two, “The Nine Components of Extraordinary Leadership.”


“If you get the culture right, most of the other stuff will take care of itself.”  —Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappos.com

The culture of an organization has an enormous impact on its ability to generate continuous profitable growth and to deliver to the owner what they want from the business. To create predictable and sustainable growth and deliver consistent results, an organization must build the culture of an extraordinary business and establish a work environment that consistently breeds top performers.

To determine if you are creating an environment that fosters success now and in the future, here are the 10 questions you should ask your employees:

1. Do you know what is expected of you at work? Is it clearly defined and articulated?

2. Do you have the necessary resources to complete your work properly?

3. Is your work aligned with your strengths, skills and passions?

4. Do you feel your supervisor cares about you as a person?

5. Is there someone at work who encourages your development?

6. Do you feel your work is important to the operation of the company?

7. Do you feel your coworkers are committed to doing quality work?

8. Do you have solid relationships at work?

9. Is career progress clearly defined and consistent across all departments?

10. In the last year, have you had the opportunity to learn and grow?

Interpreting the Results

If your staff would answer “no” to two or fewer questions: Chances are your company is in good shape and you are well on your way to being an extraordinary business. You have developed a healthy culture that effectively breeds top performers. You are in a scenario to go from good to great, but as with any endeavor, unceasing effort is necessary to continue to build an extraordinary business.

For truly consistent profitable growth this high-performance culture must be aligned with the organization’s strategy, structure, process, tools and people.

If your staff would answer “no” to three to five questions: While your company may not be visibly struggling, you are vulnerable. If the market shifts dramatically or if you lose a few key people in your organization, you could suddenly find yourself in rough waters. If consistent and profitable growth is your goal along with a business that works for you, you should address the current gaps in your company’s culture. Only then will your company have necessary environment for sustaining long-term growth and value that are the hallmarks of an extraordinary business.

If your staff would answer “no” to five or more questions: You are most likely experiencing tough times and if you aren’t, you soon will. The environment you have created in your company is one that will eventually lead to dissatisfaction and poor performance. Realigning the cultural environment of your company should be a top priority.

The most desired culture is one that is geared towards growth from the inside out. It should not only foster success now, but should also breed top performance in the future. For truly consistent profitable growth, season after season, this high-performance culture must be aligned with the organization’s strategy, structure, process, tools and people.

If you would like more information on our Lead from Strength™ methodology and how we can help you take your culture, business, and leadership to the next level and create an Extraordinary Business, send us an email at info@ottumenterprises.com. For more information about what it means to Lead from Strength™ and become an extraordinary business, visit us at www.LeadfromStrength.com.

About the Author

Wayne Ottum

Wayne Ottum is President and Founder of Ottum Enterprises, LLC and a passionate consultant, author and speaker dedicated to creating extraordinary businesses and leaders. With over 30 years of experience in the fields of business, education and consulting, Wayne guides business owners and leaders to Lead from Strength™ to achieve the clarity of direction, focus and authenticity that naturally drives their business to ever greater levels of success. Follow him on Twitter at @WayneOttum or @OttumEnterprise, and find him on LinkedIn.

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