Communication

Culture Eats Strategy For Breakfast! 3 Competencies To Strengthen Your Soft Skills

Culture eats strategy for breakfast. What a big idea, right?

As a leader in your organization, you proudly celebrate the wins. On occasion, it doesn’t work that way and during a loss, you may ask yourself whether it was you, your team, or the organization as the root cause. With each examination, you may see a pattern within your company culture itself, through discussion, surfacing time and time again.

Culture Eats Strategy For Breakfast!
— Peter Drucker

Two areas of tension leaders in any organization must balance daily are that of hard and soft skills. Most leaders excel greatly in hard skills. They know their product or service inside and out. They understand delivery and execution in order to promote and provide markets for their product or service. It is then not surprising that with leaders focused so strong on hard skills, many lack what amounts to be the equally, if not of greater importance, the soft skills needed to manage the people of the organization.

Through many years of coaching leaders, it has become clear to me that there are three primary areas of competencies needed within any organization. They include:

  1. Effective Communication
    Great leaders are effective communicators. What are we communicating? What are the questions we’re asking? Are we taking time to actually listen to understand what’s happening? And then being able to turn around and explicitly share those ideas with a broader audience and making sure it lands and hits its mark so that we know that we’re communicating clearly and effectively that engages the rest of our people. (We recommend leaders start by answering 3 questions).

  2. Creating Connection
    We are wired for meaningful relationships. Sometimes, when we meet with people, there’s just a disconnect. And sometimes we just don’t even know why. It’s often this place of just connection with those key people. We really want to understand what’s happening there, and what can we do to build stronger levels of trust and unity so that we can have a healthy working relationship? (We recommend the Conversationalist for building stronger connection).

  3. Change Management
    Change is necessary for continued growth. That’s a big idea in terms of a leadership sense of expectations. Are we moving too fast? Perhaps we’re moving too slow. Somewhere in there is finding that cadence of what is the rate of change where we work well and thrive within. Change is hard and if we don't change, then things won’t happen as we expect, and our results will suffer.


What is Culture?

Values + Behavior = Culture

To deep dive into your organization, your team, or even the culture that you live as a leader, look at those values. What are the things that are core to who you are? Are you moving them from implicit ideas to explicit? When you do, then, you can begin putting a plan together on how to live those ideas out.

Culture is a complex idea because we’re dealing with the soft skills. If you want to improve your culture, start there. What are those values? How do we live them out? 

Communication - Connection - Change

Communication - Connection - Change

I would encourage you to look at those three areas of communicating effectively, being able to make strong connections with your people, and then, finally, look at your expectation around change management.

Final Thoughts

When you do the above suggested actions, they will strengthen your culture. When blended with your strategy, suddenly you’re going to see your results successfully executed, positively affecting your bottom line. Hope this has been helpful.

If you need help with your leadership skills the Advance team provides one free complimentary coaching session. It will help you clarify your answers and give you a plan to lead more effectively. (We provide a professional coaching experience, not a sales pitch!)

If you want to be a more effective leader select Start Now!

What Leaders Do to Communicate More Effectively

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Leadership requires perspective in order to communicate effectively.

  • Daily demands steal our clarity.

  • Decision fatigue dulls our strategy.

  • Doubt can rob us of confidence.


When you’re suffering from these moments, being a leader and doing the work of one can feel overwhelming. You may be more reactive than proactive. The very idea of taking time to get some perspective may come across as a luxury. You may even say to yourself, "I have no time" or "I’ll take some time one day." However, we know work is always there, and the demands on our time never end.


3 Important Questions To Help Leaders Gain More Prospective

Coaching entrepreneurs and executive leaders gain the perspective by looking at and answering three questions:

  • Where are we going? Vision~ Dream~ Mission~Opportunities~Making a Difference

  • Who is the team that will get us there? Your #1 Team~ Support~ Culture~ Clients~ Advisors~ Stakeholders

  • What needs to be done today? Problems to Solve~ Projects~ Priorities

Effective communication maximizes leadership success.


A mentor once taught me that leadership brings order out of chaos. Every day, you know the level of chaos that you face. It’s real! Get your thoughts in order. Clarity of thought will bring insights. Now, you can formulate a plan. You’ll know what priority to focus on first and what is second. You will gain perspective faster than you realize.

We encourage leaders to retreat, so you can advance. You can take a step back to get some perspective and move forward. The above three questions offer you some pause; allowing you to communicate with more clarity and confidence. As a leader, people are looking to you for answers!


Leaders Must Discipline Themselves To Be Effective Communicators

Communication is a discipline – something you can start now!

  • Think about your answers to the 3 questions.

  • Brainstorm ideas, writing down potential answers.

  • Highlight any words or statements that grip you.

  • Commit to sharing those answers – to who and when.

  • Watch and learn from their response to refine the message.

How will you communicate your answers to them?


Communication is a discipline, and leaders use their words!

It’s so important to use yours wisely and make them count. If your words miss the mark, then look at them from another perspective. This will be the first proactive step you take.

If you need help the Advance team provides one free complimentary coaching session. It will help you clarify your answers and give you a plan to communicate more effectively. (We provide a professional coaching experience, not a sales pitch!)

If you want to be a more effective communicator select Start Now! Then you will receive an email of including next steps to prepare for your free coaching session!