President and CEO Scott Gates discussed Western Window Systems, its culture and mission, and his philosophy of leadership in an illuminating conversation recently published in the Phoenix Business Journal.
Gates described to writer Ali Parnian in the Q&A-style interview how the company’s vision and mission are more than just mere talking points.
“Business books talk about the importance of vision and mission, but I think a lot of companies pick something that sounds and feels good, but they don’t actually adhere to it,” Gates says. “For us, our vision is everywhere and we talk about it constantly. For every strategic decision we make, we ask, ‘How does this back our vision?’”
Gates goes on to explain how the company’s environment, people, and problem-solving styles are just as important its strategy, even invoking the Peter Drucker maxim “Culture eats strategy for breakfast.”
Western Window Systems’ three core values (excellence, innovation, and partnership) and 10 leadership principles receive several mentions in the interview, and Gates offers sage advice to readers who might be struggling with aligning their organizational mission with their company’s performance.
He says the mission has to be more than just words on a wall, and it’s incumbent upon leadership to bring a company’s mission and vision to life, most often through thoughtfully curating an organization’s culture.
“It’s not the words’ fault; it’s the leadership’s fault,” he says. “For any business that is really trying to differentiate itself, culture can actually make you appear different to customers and prospective employees. And different in the way you attack the millions of problems that come your way every day.”
Read the full interview by following this link.