Are You Driving Blind?

There is a funny scene in the movie If You Could See What I Hear, based on the life of blind athlete, singer and actor Tom Sullivan, where he is driving a car around his college campus.  Remember, Tom is blind from birth.  It’s a hilarious scene and one of my favorite movies.  At one point I lived in Southern California and would bump into Tom (no pun intended) from time to time at a restaurant in Manhattan Beach and we would talk about life and running, among other things.

Tom would often say that most people are driving blind, going somewhere fast but not really seeing.

While it may apply to many of us, the question I often ask CEOs is: “Are you driving blind”?

  • Do you really see the culture inside your company?
  • Do you see the ways in which corporate culture is hindering your organization?
  • Do you see how the behavior and leadership processes of the senior team play a big part in creating your corporate culture?
  • Do you see the impact culture has on profitability, customer satisfaction, innovation, productivity, the well-being of your employees?

If you can’t answer these questions, it’s time to really look.  Time to dig in and find out.  In many cases you will be very pleased with what you see.  In some cases you will be horrified!

Tight Lines . . .

About johnrchildress

John Childress is currently Visiting Professor in Strategy and Culture at IE Business School in Madrid and a pioneer in the field of strategy execution, culture change, executive leadership and organization effectiveness, author of several books and numerous articles on leadership, an effective public speaker and workshop facilitator for Boards and senior executive teams. In 1978 John co-founded The Senn-Delaney Leadership Consulting Group, the first international consulting firm to focus exclusively on culture change, leadership development and senior team alignment. Between 1978 and 2000 he served as its President and CEO and guided the international expansion of the company. His work with senior leadership teams has included companies in crisis (GPU Nuclear – owner of the Three Mile Island Nuclear Plants following the accident), deregulated industries (natural gas pipelines, telecommunications and the breakup of The Bell Telephone Companies), mergers and acquisitions and classic business turnaround scenarios with global organizations from the Fortune 500 and FTSE 250 ranks. He has designed and conducted consulting engagements in the US, UK, Europe, Middle East, Africa, China and Asia. Currently John is an independent advisor to CEO’s, Boards, management teams and organisations on strategy execution, corporate culture, leadership team effectiveness, business performance and executive development. John was born in the Cascade Mountains of Oregon and eventually moved to Carmel Highlands, California during most of his business career. John is a Phi Beta Kappa scholar with a BA degree (Magna cum Laude) from the University of California, a Masters Degree from Harvard University and was a PhD candidate at the University of Hawaii before deciding on a career as a business entrepreneur in the mid-70s. In 1968-69 he attended the American University of Beirut and it was there that his interest in cultures, leadership and group dynamics began to take shape. John Childress resides in London and the south of France with his family and is an avid flyfisherman, with recent trips to Alaska, the Amazon River, Tierra del Fuego, and Kamchatka in the far east of Russia. He is a trustee for Young Virtuosi, a foundation to support talented young musicians. You can reach John at john@johnrchildress.com or john.childress@theprincipiagroup.com
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