The Kalahari Resort, Water Park and Indoor Theme Park in Wisconsin Dells, WI is a prime vacation destination for families and, seemingly, a feeder facility for the Home for Grossly Over-Stimulated children. It was in the convention center of this facility that I delivered the Keynote address to Festival College, a multi-day leadership development program for the several hundred leaders of the Skogen’s Festival Foods organization. What was remarkable was that rather than going off to play with their families, all the leaders showed up. The room was packed. Everyone was on time and ready to work. Far more remarkable was the palpable spirit of servant leadership. It began years ago and continues to grow because of dedication from the top.
CEO Mark Skogen has led his company to be far more than a great supermarket chain. They are focused outwardly, to those in their company who follow, to their customers and quite visibly, to their communities. These leaders come together annually to reinforce the messages of service and to grow together. Jim Hunter, author of The Servant, has provided training for them for years and all of that effort is paying off in every way you can imagine, including quite dramatically, their business success – and it is largely due to their remarkable culture.
Peter Drucker famously told us that, “Culture eats strategy for breakfast.” That is true whether you build your culture intentionally or stumble through the process accidentally. Mark Skogen is creating his culture by investing in his people and leading with his clarity about what is most important – his “THAT way!” How are you investing in your culture?
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