Like many busy professionals, my work often involves crossing borders. In the next few days alone, I'll be in Bogotá, Colombia and Trinidad for speaking and training engagements. I work with a number of French companies who are expanding into North America, as well as many multinational firms. Even my downtime is often spent internationally—earlier this year, I vacationed with my son in Thailand and Bhutan.
I bring this up not to compare frequent flyer miles (although that’s always fun too), but to share some observations. I’ve found that many of the concepts discussed in my book Capture the Mindshare are equally applicable wherever you are in the world.
Take commitment to excellence, which is part of the DNA of the most successful companies worldwide. It doesn’t matter which continent you’re on—organizations that fail to make excellence a “habit,” as Aristotle said, will fail to deliver on their brand promise to their customers.
Each company’s individual business model will help dictate specifically how their commitment to excellence plays out in the corporate culture. But regardless of where you go globally, you can’t skip this important step.
In essence, commitment to excellence requires putting your organization under the cultural microscope in order to refine your internal brand message for the benefit of your employees. At the same time, it’s about enhancing your external brand in order to recruit and retain people who are passionate about the company and their work.
In Capture the Mindshare, I discuss how identifying a company’s culture and brand identity can provide a window into the behavior, values, decision-making approach, and communication style of that company—in other words, into their commitment to excellence. We can use archetypes (see Capture the Mindshare for some fascinating research into archetypes) to reveal details about our personal brand as well as to provide insight into how we operate both individually and within a team structure.
Archetypes such as “Director” (intense, driven, results-focused), “Implementer” (collaborative, team-oriented, task-driven), "Analyst" (data-driven, focused, detailed), and “Thrill-seeker” (creative, purposeful, big picture) transcend nationality. Thus, they allow us to take a more global perspective toward our own non-negotiable promise of excellence.
In my book You Unstuck, I discuss these key leadership archetypes that I often see in the workplace. It can be very informative to understand what combination of leadership characteristics make up your behavioral style and to be able to anticipate how you may communicate and interact with others. As for me, I'm a Director/Thrill-seeker, which means my skills lie in creating a vision and leading a team.
Whatever archetype best represents you and your organization, every company in every country can benefit from discovering their own sweet spot when it comes to providing excellence to customers and employees. The concept is universal—and it can provide a critical foundation for building an engaged workforce and an authentic brand.