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Activating The Capstones Of Excellence

A capstone refers to a crowning or high point of achievement.

Fitting in that our Capstones of Excellence represent the pinnacle of trust and belief in a set of values, customs, and attributes that collectively represent the culture of an organization.

With an intentional focus rooted in relevance, culture is capable of inspiring emotional aspects of behavior, influencing new levels of performance, exceeding strategic results, and deepening a team’s commitment to the higher purpose of an organization:


Culture Inspires Behavior

Behavior Influences Performance

Performance Produces Results

Results Foster Vitality and Growth


That’s a few small words and a headful of thoughts . . . a quick overview of culture is in order:

Culture Inspires Behavior

Your culture is your story: a relatable, predictive, and purposeful understanding of how we add value to the lives of each other.

Fulfilling its promise relies on finding people with a deep-seeded passion for why you do what you do, those who willingly embrace the everyday behaviors that empower individual performance.

Once the choice is made and selection is complete, you’ll want to reinforce that connection through consistent, frequent, meaningful, almost maniacal references to your unique collection of values, customs, and standards . . . beyond a few posters on the wall, branded chachkies, or references in an employee handbook.

Why? Because people have a lot going on in their lives, plenty of distractions and diversions in their world outside of work that can influence what they think and value most.

A strong and vibrant culture enables your employees to organically identify the presence of what matters most within their existing environment. Continuously promoting the higher purpose of your culture serves to balance or diffuse . . . you’ll never eliminate . . . the influence these external forces have on the emotional and mental well-being of your team.

Which is also why your Retention Intention strategies must include developing essential soft skills among leaders: effective communication, coaching, managing conflict, providing feedback, working through change, etc.

You’ll want to ensure daily interactions are breathing life into, not sucking the life out of, an inspired work environment.

Behavior Influences Performance

Imagine being responsible for inspiring, or breathing life into the performance of every member of your team, every day? You’d be out of breath and exhausted in no time.

It’s an unnecessary burden leaders assume when they underestimate the holistic role of culture in creating emotional agility – the intrinsic motivation to do what a person enjoys doing most.

A healthy work environment, complete with processes and practices connecting your team to the emotional aspects of your culture, will inspire the behaviors that ultimately influence performance: judgment, discretionary thought, integrity, accountability, character, etc.

Your attention can now focus beyond meeting basic expectations, to exceeding them.

This includes your personal dreams and aspirations. You’re welcome.

Performance Produces Results

Building solid practices transfers strategy from the conference room to the front-line where it can influence everyday behaviors that deliver quality, timely, and innovative solutions of uncompromising quality.

Again, these results signify a person’s willingness to emotionally invest in a collaborative effort and represent a holistic value proposition: specifically, we’re moving beyond telling someone how to behave (the perceived value of standards and guidelines) and encouraging them to build performance behaviors. Big difference.

This doesn’t happen on its own, or even overnight.

It hinges on first establishing processes that align with cultural aspirations, empower emotional agility, inspire trust, and enable vision beyond the expected.

Simplicity emerges within a structure of detailed consistency: brew fresh coffee, turn on the music, use first names, speak in brand voice, etc. because collectively you believe and trust in the influence they have on an experience and the overall success of a team or brand.

Results Foster Vitality and Growth

Everyone likes to be around a winning team. Vitality, representing the continuance of life, is a noble concept but also one that requires nurturing and care to support genuine loyalty and growth.

Most closely related with happiness and well-being, the word “vital” is derived from vita or life. It is the ability and capacity to live energetically, sensing that personal or professional actions have meaning or purpose.

Relating results back to the collective values, customs, and standards of your culture re-energizes the thoughts and aspirations of your team. Key results and objectives are approached with renewed vigor, an infectious focus on a new standard or call for “more”, each person striving to make tomorrow just a little bit better than today.

A Path Lined With Intention

Awakening the potential of your culture is not difficult but it does require intention.

Enter into this exercise distracted by external pressures or conflicting objectives, and even your best efforts will shrink into a silent demise.

Study your story, engage with your team to build trust and perspective, openly discuss what matters most to collective success, and evaluate suggested steps you can take together to achieve it.

Then lead by example . . . this is your story, too. Craft a narrative of faith in the unknown, filled with culturally inspired behaviors that influence performance, produce better than imagined results, and breathe life into the future of your team.

The prosperity and joy you have envisioned will manifest . . . just when it’s time to do it all over again!  

Diagram of Capstones of Excellence to improve retention and reduce turnover



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