Are You an Authentic Success?

You Don’t Need Permission to Succeed

In 2018, the nonprofit think tank Populace surveyed a representative sample of 3,000 men and women in America about success. The survey respondents were first asked what they thought society’s definition of success was. It’s no surprise they said society thought money and prestige best represented authentic success. But then the survey took a different turn.

authentic success

The think tank asked then the survey respondents if they completely or mostly agreed with society’s definition of success. Only 18% said they did. Interestingly, 40% of the respondents said they agreed with society’s definition of success—at one time—but now they no longer agreed with it.

The overwhelming majority said their personal definition of success included happiness and achievement. Surprisingly, 74% said society thought “someone who is powerful” is successful, but 91% said they personally believed “someone who is purpose-driven” is successful.

Here’s the kicker: The vast majority of us believes that everyone else thinks someone who’s “rich and powerful” is successful, but simultaneously we personally believe that “personal fulfillment” is essential to success.

How Healthy Is Your Leadership Ability?

Would You Want Your Leadership Style Replicated?

Is your leadership ability healthy? If you immediately say yes, then you might want to rethink your answer. It’s likely that there are some gaps in your leadership ability that you are unaware of.

Healthy Leadership Ability

Here’s the big question: Would you want your leadership style replicated in your organization? Over time, you will remake your organization in your image. People in your charge—and in their charge—will do what you do. Would you want your entire organization to lead like you lead?

Most leaders have not taken the time to examine how healthy their leadership ability is. That’s understandable—and that’s unfortunate. It’s understandable with all that they have on their plate. But it’s unfortunate because of all the people they have reporting to them who are impacted by their leadership.

Here are some resources to help you improve your leadership ability.

Three Qualities to Look for in New Hires

How to Build Your Team to Cultivate Your Culture

Your company culture depends on the quality of people you hire. When building your team, it’s important to look for soft skills. In the hiring process, gauge the candidates’ emotional intelligence. You want to hire people who can avoid unnecessary conflict and can represent the company well. New hires should complement the rest of your team.

New Hires

Your external brand messaging to customers must be supported by an internal employee culture. If your brand and culture are not in alignment, then you will have customer churn. Remember: Your employees are the best ambassadors for your brand, so it’s important to get hiring decisions right.

Here are three qualities to look for in new hires as you build your team and cultivate your culture.

Representing Diversity Authentically in Your Brand

Keeping the Brand-Culture Relationship in Alignment

When you choose to pursue a culture of diversity, you are opening your company to new possibilities. If you allow the change on the inside of your company to be reflected on the outside, people who may have not done business with you in the past will see you in a new light. By aligning your brand-culture relationship, you may appeal to customers you could not have reached in the past. If your brand expression is a genuine representation of an internal culture change, diversity could become a customer acquisition strategy.


Now, if the brand-culture relationship is out of alignment, then one of two things will happen. If your internal culture embraces diversity and your external brand does not reflect that, then you are missing an opportunity. If your external brand embraces diversity and your internal culture does not reflect that, then you are exhibiting hypocrisy.

Keeping the brand-culture relationship in alignment is key. Incorporating diversity into your brand messaging before your culture is ready to support it can be detrimental to your brand. However, pursuing diversity as a customer acquisition strategy as a reflection of your company culture can be beneficial for your brand.

Here are three things that must be in place first for you to represent diversity authentically in your brand.

Four Attributes of a CORE Purpose

Why your organization needs to find its Purpose

To keep your organization afloat you need to have positive cashflow. But that can’t be what your organization is all about. It’s important to focus on what’s deeper than making money—especially if you want to make more money. To secure your long-term future, it’s crucial to think about your organization’s CORE Purpose.


Your organization’s CORE Purpose is more than just making money. It’s more than your mission or vision. Your purpose is more than just what you do. Your organization’s purpose is the difference you want to make in the world as a result of what you do.

While the word “CORE” is a descriptive word for purpose, it is also an acronym for the four main attributes of having a CORE Purpose.

Are You and Your Board in Alignment?

Is Your Relationship Characterized by Cooperation or Confrontation?

How would you describe your relationship with your board? Would you say that is harmonious? Or would you say that it is contentious? If you and your board are at odds with each other, then it is likely that you are not in alignment.


I have found in working with myriad boards and CEOs that oftentimes the confrontation is caused by confusion. There is discord between the CEO and the board because they are not in alignment.

The good news is that—as long as there is no executive malfeasance— a skilled facilitator can usually restore CEO-board relations by clearing up the confusion. However, a mediator may be required if the standoff is deep-seated.

If you are your board are not in alignment, here are the three areas where there may be confusion in the CEO-board relationship.

Friction between Brand and Culture Costs You Money

Why You Can’t Ignore the Relationship Between Your Brand and Culture

The relationship between your brand and your culture must be frictionless. Your employees’ interactions with customers and with each other need to be like a well-oiled machine. The way your employees interact with customers and fellow employees is indicative of your company’s cultural health. If internal and external interactions are not lubricated sufficiently with a healthy cultural perspective, then there will be friction between the engine parts. And friction between your employees—and especially your customers—will cost you money.


Your marketing messages and your employee culture must be in alignment. If they are not in alignment, then your customers will be confused. And confusion kills branding.

If your culture in your organization is not optimal, then you cannot optimize customer retention. Until the culture improves, there will be customer churn. And that friction in your brand-culture relationship will cost you money. And you especially cannot afford that friction in this difficult economy.

Here are three points to remember in reducing friction in your organization’s brand-culture relationship.


Diversity Starts with You

Five Key Fundamentals for Culture Change

Culture change starts with you as a leader. In your role at your organization, you can have a profound impact on the people employed there. You have the potential to be an agent of transformation. You can make a contribution to society by making an impact on your company culture. Diversity starts with you.


We all arrive where we are based on our own experiences, and our experiences affect our worldview. But here’s the tricky thing: we are usually oblivious of our worldview. We usually think we are more open-minded than we actually are. We usually don’t realize what our worldview is until something challenges that view.

Culture change is a process, and a process takes time. It requires intentionality, clarity, and consistency. It requires doing things that we typically haven’t done before. We can’t expect a short diversity training session to change behavior. It needs to be woven into the fabric of our organizations. It requires us to operationalize our organizational values into a systemized training process.

Here are five key concepts for incorporating diversity into your company culture through a systemized training process.

Vision Provides Both Power and Focus

Why Vision Is the Centerpiece of Your Company Core Fundamentals

To get a rocket to lift off, you need to have a combination of both incredible power and precise focus. Leaving the atmosphere requires that you have an enormous amount of thrust, but that thrust has to be channeled in precisely the same direction. In your business, you need to the same combination of power and focus. And you can harness both through vision.

Power and Focus

Vision is the centerpiece of your core fundamentals. Every organization needs to have both the power and focus that vision provides. Your Purpose, Values, and Vision provide the power; and your Mission, Customer, and Vision provide the focus. Vision is the only one in common between the Power Fundamentals and the Focus Fundamentals. Vision will get your team moving in the same direction over a longer period of time.

Here’s why Vision provides you with both power and focus.

How to Get the Most from Your Training Program

Integrate Your Culture Building Process into Your Training Curriculum

Your training program in your company may be incomplete. Training is an essential part of building your culture, but many organizations don’t understand how comprehensive it should be. Culture building should be integrated into your training program in order to get the most out of your training dollars. Otherwise you are throwing money away.

training program

Training is not expensive: lack of training is expensive. Take The Container Store, for example. They provide their employees with more than 10x the amount of training their industry average provides. And they pay their employees significantly more than the industry average. And yet their employees have only 1/10 of the industry turnover rate.

The training The Container Store provides their team serves to create the culture that keeps employees working for the company. Similarly, your company needs to incorporate your culture building process into your training program.

Here are the four levels necessary for your training program to mutually reinforce your culture building process.