Character Spotlight: Kitt Letcher, President & CEO, Better Business Bureau of Central Oklahoma
by Christina Hicks
Having always worked in the non-profit sector, Kitt Letcher’s purpose has been to make the community around her a better place. “I love being a part of organizations that are solutions-oriented. At the Better Business Bureau, we are always looking for ways in which we can help businesses be better, as everyone has the potential for growth, personally and professionally. Our team at BBB keeps that at the forefront of our thinking when we are providing services to both businesses and consumers. We look for ways we can help consumers understand the best ways in which to work with companies and for business owners, the best ways to thrive and grow their business while keeping best practices in mind.”
Kitt believes that “dependability should be an integral part of core values. The word dependability most likely means something different to each of us; to me, it stems from trust and expectations.”
Kitt uses the term core value “in place of dependability because executing those values, walking the talk, manifesting the intent is all part of being a dependable individual, leader, and part of a team. You are dependable when you do all of these things. That demonstration of values is essential because there is always an opportunity to prove that you walk the talk.”
“Let’s say your business has your core values up on the wall. You’ve gone through the expense and time to talk through what those should look like, what are the right words, and how do we display them, so everyone knows and sees them? Then in contradiction, you or other leaders of your organization do not take the time to follow those values. This lack of attention diminishes the value of everyone’s input, the money to create such an elaborate display, most importantly, the intent that everyone contributed to putting them together, and finally demonstrating that they or you (if you are the person not walking the talk) truly, are not dependable.”
Kitt believes the priority over everything else is “walking the talk.” Your words and actions have to be in alignment. You don’t have the luxury of saying one thing and then doing something completely different because you feel like it. When you, as a leader, get to skirt around rules or functions that other people have to perform, it sets the tone that you’re not a team player, and your words are hollow. If you don’t believe in following the standards that you have set, then why should anyone else?
Kitt advises leaders who wish to demonstrate dependability practice the following:
Walk the talk. Demonstrate the values you expect from others.
Be transparent about expectations and intentions.
Realize that people are watching you, and you have the opportunity to set the tone for any situation.