Byron's Babbles

What’s In Your Culture?

  I finished a great book yesterday that has easily made it onto the list of greatest books I’ve read. The book was, It’s My Pleasure: The Impact of Extraordinary Talent and a Compelling Culture by Dee Ann Turner. Of course I was tweeting like mad while reading and was excited to have the author liking, favoriting, and replying to my tweets (@ByronErnest). In fact, I was getting lots of Twitter interaction from others on those tweets, too. You’ll notice Dee Ann Turner liked a tweet where I set a new goal for 2016 of having lunch with her at a Chick-fil-A. She liked and replied to the tweet; sure hope she’ll consider it.  

 Then, I was real excited yesterday to receive a tweet from Andy Van Weele (@AndyVanWeele). He tweeted the question, “What was your big takeaway?” This is an awesome question because it is not plural, it’s singular. I, of course, tweeted back and told him to stay tuned for this post. As I began to think about this, I considered the 71 highlights I made while reading the book. I reread and studied each one. Then I realized no single one of these great thoughts shared by Dee Ann Turner was my big takeaway. My big  

takeaway was the fact that Dee Ann Turner was the product of the culture of excellence she taught us about in the book. Think about it; lots of people write books about culture and leadership. Here, however, is an author who has lived and become a product of an outstanding culture. In addition, is continuing to provide outstanding leadership to continue that legacy. This book isn’t about turning around or building an organization, it’s about what it’s like to be a product of an incredible culture of “It’s My Pleasure” and wanting to continue and further hone that culture of excellence. It is about it being an honor for Dee Ann Turner to be a “facilitator of opportunity” on behalf of Truett Cathy.

I must admit, I’m a little jealous of Dee Ann’s opportunity to learn and develop under the tutelage of S. Truett Cathy, the author of the phenomenal culture that is Chick-fil-A. As a leader of schools turning around, I spend most of my time on culture building, so I’m just so blown away by the thought of spending over 30 years growing in such a great culture. But, then I get chills thinking about this is the very reason I have accepted the calling to lead the schools I have; to give our students and staff the same culture that Dee Ann Turner grew, developed, and flourished in. Not an easy task, but clearly attainable! 

 So, there’s my big takeaway: Dee Ann Turner was the product of the culture of excellence of Chick-fil-A. So, my question to the readers of this post is: “Would you want to be a product of the culture you have created?” Or, an even more compelling question is: “Would you want someone to write a book about the culture you are leading? If you waivered on your answer, or said no, you need to read It’s My Pleasure: The Impact of Extraordinary Talent and a Compelling Culture by Dee Ann Turner. Let’s all become “facilitators of opportunity.” 

 

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  1. […] In prepping for writing the post What’s In Your Culture, I reflected on the 71 highlights I made while reading It’s My Pleasure: The Impact of […]

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