Has the shine of the New Year already worn off? 😕

You’re three weeks into the new year, and the energy, focus, and belief in your abilities to tackle these new amazing, courageous goals might be waning a little. Don’t worry. I got you. Been there.

We come out the gate strong, ready to be a new, better, more improved version of our leadership selves, and we run smack dab into it: CULTURE. It’s hard to be BOLD, much less BADA$$, in an environment that is BASIC.

You’ve done the work. You delivered authentic performance reviews of yourself and your team. You set some AMAZING, courageous goals, and now, you’re feeling like you’re swimming up stream while the rest of the work world heads in the opposite direction.

How do you rise to the level of your authenticity when your authenticity isn’t supported?

Often this feeling comes because the culture doesn’t embrace being BADA$$. But here’s the great thing about culture: It’s formed by putting our values into action. You are capable of leading from a place of values that drive results.

(Corporate Soldier Sidebar: If the values of the organization don’t align to yours, then we need to have a whole other conversation about why you’re there. For now, let’s assume your values align enough to the corporate values to have this conversation.)

As a leader, you have an awesome opportunity – and responsibility – to create the culture you need for you and your team’s success.

Now, you’re probably asking, “How can I, one person, change the entire culture of an organization?” ❌Wrong question.

Instead, ask, “What values can I live and lead by that will drive a culture of courageous excellence for myself, my team, and the organization?”

We’re talking about elevating culture and performance from acceptable mediocrity to courageous excellence.

Mediocrity can be stealthy. It’s like a sheep in wolf’s clothing. It can look like cutting edge excellence on the surface, but when we unwrap it, it’s the same old sappy mediocrity.

You’ve seen it:

🐺SHEEP IN WOLF’S CLOTHING: We’ve got so many amazing priorities! We’re doing great things! Let’s adjust the scope of this important, strategic project for the 13th time so that we make sure it gets done too!

🐏Huh??? How about knowing which projects drive strategy and prioritizing and saying NO to something? Cut the scope creep. Make a commitment to right work to accelerate success.

🐺SHEEP IN WOLF’S CLOTHING: Our commitment to DEI is strong. We have a DEI statement posted on our website, which includes pictures of diverse talent. Yay! Our CEO sends out a year-end Happy Holidays communication thanking everyone for their contributions.

🐏Huh??? What are we doing all year? How about, Juneteenth recognized as a paid holiday, benefits covering transgender surgery, closed captioning for executive town hall meetings, and leadership development programs for women and people of color?

🐺SHEEP IN WOLF’S CLOTHING: We did a remarkable job adjusting to Covid. We upgraded technology. Our staff now works remotely or in hybrid working environments. We got this thing right!

🐏Huh??? How are you creating inclusion for those who work hybrid or full-time work-at-home? How are leaders creating the in-the-office experience for those who are not? How are you equipping leaders for the post-Covid work environment?

The bottom-line questions that you must ask as a BADA$$ leader who leads courageously: What are we doing that makes the difference and what results are we creating?

Courageous leadership calls bullsh*t on the wolf and unveils it for the sheep that it is.

To unveil mediocrity, you’ve got to be on your BADA$$ game!

BASIC Leaders Think: Let’s do what we can.

BOLD Leaders Think: Let’s do what we should do.

BADA$$ Leaders Think: Let’s do what makes the difference.

Remember, you’re capable of creating the life, career, and culture you need for success. Draw from your authenticity: self-honesty, courage, confidence, and resilience.

What values do you need to embrace to be a BADA$$ leader who gets results? Identify at least one right now and put it in action!

More to come on transforming the culture from sappy, accepted mediocrity to courageous excellence. Stay with me.