How many leaders look every day inside and outside of their organizations for what people are doing that is great? When they wake up in the morning, do they ask themselves how many of our managers and employees will come to work today focused on doing something great for a customer, a vendor or a co-worker? Will they recognize the greatness in others?

Now, imagine the power of a culture where this is the norm, a culture that continuously focuses on doing great things. I call that phenomenon Cultural Magnificence because the origin of magnificence is the Latin magnum facere, to do something great.

This phenomenon or movement, as I like to call it, has likely been around for ages, maybe since the Stone Age when people actually looked for the greatness in others. Eventually back then they might have killed someone who failed on a personal level to live up to preset notions of what made a group — a war party, a village, a tribe — great. After all, the group’s very survival was on the line. Today, those people are likely asked to leave because they have no place in a company driven by cultural magnificence.

But the ones who are attracted to organizations with a culture of magnificence and the ones who stay are focused on doing great things for other people, and this creates game changing organizations. These are organizations that thrive in chaos and ambiguity; they are innovators that are on the cutting edge of the technology of people. That’s right, the cutting edge of the technology of people. The foundation of this technology is a focus on people doing great things for other people all the time, regardless of the circumstances, events or possible consequences. This can also be called selfless service, but for me, cultural magnificence rings truer.

The power of such a movement fuels the passion of every living being committed to the long-term success of a growing and a thriving organization. That power will also drive innovation to limits never imagined.

Failure will be replaced by the relentless pursuit of excellence, the never say die determination to get it right no matter how many attempts it takes. That relentless pursuit will be supported by the cutting edge of the technology of people, the continuous search for and recognition of the greatness in people that I spoke of at the beginning of this article. It is the very bedrock upon which a company grows the bottom line, retains the best and brightest talent and consistently delivers an exceptional customer experience.

I congratulate those leaders who seek cultural magnificence in their organizations, and I challenge those leaders who do not. My challenge to leaders who have not demonstrated the courage to develop and lead an organization driven by cultural magnificence is to take it on now before it is too late.

Game on!

John S. Arnold can be reached at, or emailing john or by calling 954.796.6001.