Fundamentals for Success
Published January 25, 2022
Our goal is not just to be good. It’s to be EXTRAORDINARY.
“Culture eats strategy for breakfast.”
At Diamond C, our goal is not to be good. Our goal is to be extraordinary in order to fulfill our purpose: to fuel the growth and success of our team members, customers, and community abroad. Extraordinary performance comes from extraordinary people. And the foundation for extraordinary people is an extraordinary culture.
The 26 Fundamentals that follow describe the behaviors that define our unique culture. They’re what sets us apart and what makes us extraordinary.
1. MAINTAIN A POSITIVE ATTITUDE
Attitudes are contagious. Make sure that yours is one worth catching. Can’t never could. Negativity never wins. Care for your attitude and feelings in order to stay positive and progressive, inside and out.
2. DO EXTRAORDINARY WORK
Figure out what ordinary, average work looks like and put forth the extra effort to do it better and go beyond ordinary. Strive to differentiate yourself, your work, and your team’s work through doing work that is extra special, extra valuable, and exceptionally high quality. Going the extra mile is what separates us from the crowd and makes us extraordinary!
3. CALL THE MEETING
Don’t talk about people (aka. gossip), talk with people. If you have an issue with someone or something, confront the issue directly to resolve it. If this doesn’t work, take it to your leader. Don’t hold a grudge and let it linger. Remove the wedge.
4. SEEK THOROUGH UNDERSTANDING
Be humble and curious and question what you don’t know or understand. There’s always more to the story than it first appears. Gather facts and perspectives before jumping to conclusions or making judgements. Think critically and ask “why?” 5X and “how?” to grow in understanding and to discover root causes for optimal success.
5. SERVE ONE ANOTHER
Work at serving one another. Put the needs of others ahead of your own. Watch out for opportunities to lend a hand, to serve, and to support one another and be willing and ready to do so. Sometimes it’s the extra hand that makes the difference and when they win, we all win! Practice servant leadership in all that you do.
6. DO THE RIGHT THING, ALWAYS
In the words of Dr. King, “The time is always right to do what is right.” Demonstrate an unwavering commitment to doing the right thing in every action you take and in every decision that you make, even when no one’s looking. Always be honest and tell the truth. If you make a mistake, own up to it. Don’t let pride keep you from apologizing and making it right.
7. CHECK YOUR EGO AT THE DOOR
It’s not about you. Don’t let your ego or personal agenda get in the way of doing what’s best for the team. Worrying about who gets credit or taking things personally is counterproductive. Make sure that every decision is based on advancing the total team. We win together. We are better together.
8. FIND THE WAY
While being careful to consider others and collaborating on the broader impacts of your actions, take responsibility for making things happen, somehow, someway. Respond to every situation by looking for solutions, rather than explaining why it can’t be done. Be resourceful and show initiative. Be courageous enough to consider new and unconventional ways. Build the road when necessary.
9. SPEAK STRAIGHT
Speak honestly and in a way that is progressive. Make clear and direct requests. Say what you mean and be willing to ask questions, share ideas, and raise issues that may cause healthy conflict when it’s needed for team success.
10. LOOK AHEAD AND ANTICIPATE
Maintain a vision for the future of your work and your next steps. Solve problems before they happen by anticipating future needs and addressing them in advance. Prepare the way with solutions for growth and success. Preventing issues is always more effective than fixing them.
11. PRACTICE HUMAN CONNECTION
Be intentional in cultivating connections and relationships with the people around you. Be courageous enough to step out of your comfort zone. Be open and vulnerable so that others trust that they can do the same. Show people that you care about them as a person rather than just business. Ask them how they’re doing and care for the answer. Genuine compassion can’t be faked.
12. MEASURE TWICE, CUT ONCE
Correct work is always more effective than rework. From precision measurements, to the colors of the pin-stripes, to the spelling of a customer’s name, and the grammar in an email… details matter. Double-check your work. Get the details right.
13. TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF
You are responsible for yourself and your work. Get good rest. Maintain your work-life harmony. Be on time. Bring your A-game. Honor your commitments. Work safely. Clean up after yourself. Hold yourself accountable. Your teammates are depending on you.
14. PRACTICE BLAMELESS PROBLEM-SOLVING
The blame-game has no place at Diamond C. Apply your creativity, spirit, and enthusiasm to developing solutions, rather than pointing fingers and dwelling on problems. Identify lessons learned and use them to improve our process to prevent future issues. Get smarter and stronger with every problem and experience.
15. WATCH YOUR LANGUAGE
Every interaction sets a tone and creates a feeling. Be careful to say ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ and speak in a way that is friendly and helpful in building up trust and respect. Be careful not to use language or nicknames that could be disrespectful, offensive, or divisive.
16. LISTEN WELL
Listening is more than simply “not speaking.” Seek out feedback and listening opportunities. Be fully present and engaged. Quiet the noise in your head and let go of the need to agree or disagree. Create space for others to express themselves without judgement. Pay attention and listen to understand not just to respond.
17. DELIVER RESULTS
While progress and effort are appreciated, it is results that our customers care about and that rewards are based on. Set goals, track progress, yearn to work smarter, not harder, with efficiency and resolve, and hold yourself accountable for achieving those results.
18. ASSUME POSITIVE INTENT
Work from the assumption that people are good, fair, and honest, and that the intent behind their actions is positive. Set aside your own ideas, judgements, and preconceived notions about their thinking and intent. Give people the benefit of the doubt.
19. KEEP THE FAITH
Maintain a long term view beyond the challenges of the day. Life will go on – keep this in perspective. Strive to trust and support one another even when challenges come your way. Maintain faith that we can and will be successful. Be a dealer in hope for the future.
20. CREATE WIN/WIN SOLUTIONS
It’s a 2-way street. Learn to think from others’ perspectives and be careful to discover their needs. Collaborate with others to create solutions that meet their needs while also fulfilling your own – win/win’s! Your success depends on theirs too.
21. APPRECIATE DIFFERENCES
The first step in appreciating differences is knowing yourself. Listen for, and pay attention to, the things that make you and others different. Everyone has special and unique perspectives, experience, purpose, gifts, and strengths. Leverage your differences for even greater total team success.
22. BE RELENTLESS ABOUT PROGRESS
There is no elevator to success, you have to take the stairs – one step at a time including some risks, challenges, and an occasional failure too. We must yearn to learn, grow, and to continuously improve our work and efficiency, ourselves, and our organization through every step. Everything can be improved and everyone can improve. Never settle for the status quo. Good is the enemy of great.
23. WATCH OUT FOR ONE ANOTHER
Like a good neighbor, keep an eye out for one another. Be careful to notice when things change and check-in when needed. Share best practices and encourage others to do the same. Watch out for warning signs, safety risks, hazards, and potential issues and give your teammates a head’s up to help them avoid pitfalls and find the best paths for progress.
24. THINK PROCESS-ORIENTED
World-class organizations are built on a foundation of highly effective, repeatable processes. Look to create processes and feedback loops for every aspect of your work, and then turn them into habits to achieve consistent results.
25. CELEBRATE SUCCESS
Catching people doing things right is more effective than catching them doing things wrong. Regularly extend meaningful encouragement and appreciation in all directions. Have FUN and celebrate one another’s wins, learning, progress, accomplishments, and milestones along the way to affirm our values and build up a culture of success.
26. INVEST YOUR TIME
Guard your time and be careful to invest it in the things that matter and make a difference, including your teammates. Your time is one of your most valuable and limited resources. How you invest it will determine the extent of your growth and success.