How to Overcome a Good-Enough Culture

Good-enough-cultureYes; you can overcome a good-enough culture.

Nobody cares how much you know, until they know how much you care. ~ Theodore Roosevelt

I’ve been exploring how organizations suffer from a culture of “good-enough.” It’s typically a top-down job, and just like the frog in the kettle, can take you by surprise. But the good news is there is a remedy.

In my previous post here, I mentioned two steps essential to correcting the mediocrity mindset: truthfulness and directness, and consideration for others.

From author Subir Chowdhury, in The Difference: When Good Enough Isn’t Enough, are two more steps leaders can take to overcome a good-enough culture:


Leaders who care about excellence demonstrate responsibility and instill the same in their people. They accept critical feedback, but not without viable proposals for solutions. They don’t accept a mentality of “it’s not my job.” Everyone participates and is expected to follow through on their assignments. Great leaders prompt everyone to add value and make positive changes.

This encourages engagement, positive outlooks, and a drive for the best ideas. These leaders forge the habit of analyzing strategies and their potential outcomes. An overall aim to enhance things for everyone is established.

Staff responds by getting involved, taking action, and being answerable for what they do. Everyone strives for improvement, and they raise their expectations. People find it exhilarating to be responsible for their portion of the overall success. They feel a sense of unity, and are encouraged to ask for help when needed. Staff go the extra mile because they care, and because good enough is not an option.


Leaders who care lead by example. They show their people that success requires resolve, and nothing worth achieving comes easily. Leaders who persevere inspire the passion in their people to do the same. It shows the staff that the leader is serious about making commitments and staying the course. That demonstrates the importance of decisions and the worth of the goal. They support long-term improvements and reject quick fixes. Leaders who don’t give up when things get tough make a lasting impression on their people. That impression grows when they understand the struggles their people have, and help them with the needed resources.

Workers respond to this with a determination generated from within. They take ownership as they are empowered to act and resolve. People adopt a willingness to change and improve, individually and collectively. They reject short cuts. This drives a can-do culture. They care about contributing to lasting value because they learn that good enough never provides that value.

Caring about excellence is everything. A truthful leader molds a team that improves communication, timeliness and a thorough review of all difficult issues, large and small. A leader who’s considerate of others demonstrates the importance of relationships to success. Leaders who commit to such responsibility raise the level of accountability within their staff. Employees who are held to account by their manager also hold each other to account. Determined leaders foster a group spirit that overcomes challenges that once made people surrender.

Leaders can transform their organizations and reach potential never imagined if they put their immediate needs aside and care for their people and the outcomes of their endeavors. Their caring becomes contagious. From what I see in the organizations where I consult, everyone’s felt needs is met more effectively when a caring culture is in place.

What do you think? Has your organization gone from good-enough to best? I’d love to hear from you.  Give me a call, 704-827-4474. Or, you can reach me here and on LinkedIn.

This entry was posted in executive leadership, strategy and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Post a comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *


You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>