The latest Avedis Foundation Speaker Series event brought community leaders together Monday to discuss the topic of success.

The latest Avedis Foundation Speaker Series event brought community leaders together Monday to discuss the topic of success.

Featured speaker Dr. Nathan Mellor, CEO of Strata Leadership, offered his insights into what it takes to build a winning culture. He said a community's culture is determined by what it does consistently.

Whether it be through natural disaster or budget crisis — among other things, Mellor said he believes Oklahoma is way ahead of the curve, being primed for success — in part, due to its expertise in regularly coping with difficult situations.

Mellor said the state was born out of struggle and as a result its people learned to persevere.

“The price tag of character is pain,” he said, “and the willingness to endure.”

Mellor said the Oklahoma Standard is being at one's best when things are at their worst, which lends to a culture of serving each other.

“Lots of people will tell you what you can't do, who you can't be,” he said. “For us to win, we have to employ a different way of thinking.”

Mellor said actions will dictate what a culture will be.

“Winning teams are committed to their beliefs,” he said. “They require you to step up and meet them where they are.”

It boils down to going the extra mile — the bare minimum does not lead to success.

When a person knows clearly what is expected, he said, and goes beyond that, it becomes a choice, and is no longer experienced as a chore.

“You can't enslave a person who chooses to serve; it empowers them,” he said.

Knowledge and skill alone are not enough to establish longterm success, he said.

It takes character and integrity to overcome problems and create a winning culture.

“Most companies hire for competence, but fire for character,” Mellor said.

He explained this imbalanced approach is expensive, risky and draining.

Mellor shared a method he believes can change the playing field, explaining his C3 concept — character, plus competence equals consistency.

Character navigates a person through decision-making. Competence is strictly one's ability to do something well.

Consistency is the result of producing the same results again and again over an extended period of time — which also builds trust.

“The issue is not what to do,” he said. “It's about the willingness to do it.”