As a leader, you either shape your business culture or suffer in the culture that comes to work everyday.
Is any of this familiar to you?
- Islands in your team
- Gossip, negativity and back stabbing
- Prioritizing self and approval over the company
- Lack of respect for leadership or each other
If they do sound familiar, then you might be struggling with the Culture War in your workplace.
In episode 374, I talked about how to win that war at home, and in this episode, I talk about what it looks like to win it in the workplace.
Hey folks today we are talking about winning the culture war at work. What does it look like? How do
you make sure that you set yourself up for success? How do you make sure that you solve problems
when it goes awry? We’re going to be talking about that right after this. Welcome to the Chris LoCurto
show, where we discuss leadership and life, and discover that business is what you do, not who you are.
Welcome to the show folks, today we are talking about winning the culture war at work. Now some of
you out there might be going Chris, I’m not sure I know what the culture war is. So, we’re going to get
into that. We’re going to talk about how to solve that, how to protect yourself from it. But before we do,
what I want to talk to you about is “what is culture?” So many businesses, so many leaders, small
business owners, so many folks look at the culture inside of their business and they go, well, I’m not
really exactly sure what it’s supposed to look like. I’m not even really sure what it is. So I will tell you
what I say it is. I, I look at culture as being actions and attitudes. So whether it’s inside of your team,
whether it’s inside of your business, whether it’s inside of your family, what are the actions that people
What are the attitudes that they have, on whatever the situation is, whether it’s dealing with clients,
whether it’s dealing with team members, whether it’s dealing with how they approach their day, doesn’t
matter. What are the actions and attitudes that is what makes up the culture inside of your business.
Now, if you look at the Latin root to culture, it literally means to cultivate or to tend to, so think of a
vineyard, uh, which makes me very happy I love vineyards. So if you think about what it takes to
cultivate that vineyard into a great vineyard, something that produces a great grape, uh, if you can
create a fantastic grape, there’s so much, uh, when you look there’s so much, that goes into creating a
great wine that has to happen inside of the cultivating the fruit itself. So before you can even think
about putting something into a bottle, you have to have a great fruit. You have to make sure that you’re
creating a great grape. If you do all of the right things, if you cultivate that, if you tend that in the right
ways, then guess what? You produce something that is fantastic, and you can take that and continue to
produce other great things. So that’s kind of what we’re talking about today. What is the culture inside
of your business look like? What does it look like to tend to your team? What does it look like to
cultivate people, teams, the whole business as a whole,
when it comes to actions and attitudes, how do we treat clients? When we look at the internal client
now for me, the internal client is all the team members that we work with, right? For me, every single
person who works for this business is an internal client. I expect that the team members look at each
other that way as well. How do we treat each other? How do we take care of each other? How do we
serve each other? How do we communicate well with each other? What does it look like when it comes
to the external client, which would be you guys, how do we take care of our external client and all those
same ways? How effective are we as a team? Do we operate incredibly well as a team? Or do we have
islands? I will tell you, uh, that is something that I do not allow inside of my business.
In my early days of leadership, I made the mistake of bringing in, uh, somebody who operated very well
as their own Island. They didn’t work well with other team members. They only kind of looked at other
team members as being there to serve that person. And that was a great teaching moment for me in my
early leadership years. I have never hired that again. That is a big mistake. You have to understand how
important it is to operate as an effective team, as a unified team. How well do we do on setting
priorities when it comes to goals and tasks inside of a team instead of a individual’s job inside of the
business as a whole. So when you look at all of these things, these are the things that we want to kind of
work through in set correctly when it comes to the culture inside of our business. So what does a culture
war look like?
Think of it as competing ideologies, that battle for dominance. I know that you can’t think of anything
that’s going on in our country right now that would even come close to this, right? That’s my sarcasm,
right there, there is a lot of competing ideology that’s happening right now. There is what we would call
ideological subversion that is happening right now, which is push, push, push points to the point that it
doesn’t matter what the facts are. The point is driven so far that people are going to believe the point,
no matter what. Guess what? That happens, or could happen, inside of your business. Some of you
might look around your team and see that you have got gossip. That is absolutely okay. As far as team
members are concerned or there’s bashing of each other, there’s treating each other badly or control
that’s happening or manipulation or whatever it is. You might look around your team and see that some
people are pushing an ideology for dominance.
They’re pushing it against somebody else’s ideology. And that very well may be your ideology of what
you think that business should look like. So Jim Collins says this, a culture where people learn from
mistakes without looking to blame anyone, is one key to overcoming adversity. So do you have a team
that is looking to solve problems without blaming others? Or, do you have people on your bus that will
throw people under the bus as soon as they possibly can? If there’s a problem, if there’s a mistake, if
there’s something wrong, how do they respond to that? I can tell you if you’ve been following us long
enough, you know, that we have a process that we do around here. And guess what, we have team
members that still to this day will struggle with, “well, I don’t want to look like I made a mistake” or “I
don’t want to look like a failure”.
The difference is they know that it’s okay to fail. So when something does go wrong, we handle it the
same way. What happened? How did it happen? Why did it happen? How do we fix it? And then how do
we make sure it never happens again, having that process in place gives people the freedom to make
mistakes. We have a goal around here, just don’t keep making the same mistake. We want you to make
mistakes. Don’t let it be fatal. And don’t keep making the same mistake, learn from it and grow. But if
what you see in your businesses, whenever a mistake happens, victim mentality just rocks the whole
place because nobody can take responsibility and everybody wants to blame somebody else for the
problem. Well, then that’s, something that’s competing inside of your culture. So, do we prioritize self or
prioritize approval of self above the business?
So in other words, do you have team members that are looking to make their name known, looking to
gain worth, looking to appear smart or accomplished is their focus more on them than it is the success
of the business? If so, then guess what their focus is going to be on: whatever makes them look good.
They’re not going to be focusing on how the business looks at the end of the day. They’re going to be
looking to how they look at the end of the day. Also, do you see a lack of respect when it comes to team
members, when it comes to leadership, when it comes to anybody, maybe even to clients, do you see
that people don’t respect leadership? You know, if you’ve got a great team of leaders, how do people
respond to them? Do they treat them well? And does leadership treat your team well?
Do they respect their team members? Do we see that there is trust and vulnerability around the team?
If we don’t then again, what we can see is what that culture war looks like. When there is not trust,
when there’s lack of vulnerability, and what we tend to find is people competing against each other for
self protection or defensiveness. So, if you’re going to win the culture war in your business, then you
have to start by creating, intending, the culture that you want. Let me say that again. You have to start
by creating, and then continuing to tend the very culture that you want. So we are going to get into that
when we come back right after this.
Integrity in Culture
All right, we are back and we are talking about cultivating the culture that you want. And it starts first
with defining it. If you are going to win the culture war inside of your business, inside of your team,
inside of your family, whatever it is, then you have to first start by defining what you want your culture
to look like. So, as you’re listening to this, start thinking in your head, what is the actions and attitudes
that you want to see inside of your team? If you’re a leader, you don’t have to be the business owner.
We have got probably a 40%, it’s not probably by our surveys, we see that we have 40% business
owners, 40% leaders, and 20% other that follow this show. Well, guess what? As a leader, you can help
to set culture on your own team, right? Now, our goal is to set culture as a business.
But what if you don’t have a leader above you, who’s doing a great job doing that. Well, then set the
culture on your team. Do the best you can to make sure that we are operating exactly the way that you
think we should be. The culture looks the way that you think it should look. So we define it. What do we
want the actions and attitudes in all areas of the business? How do we treat each other? How do we
treat clients? How do we approach a big project? How do we approach though if we’re doing something
in public, what does that look like? Right? If we all take off and go do a special fun day in public, do
people act okay? Or do they act ridiculous? You know, we want to make sure that we’re setting good
How do people respond? One of the things that I will tell you to do is in your hiring process, take a look
at people’s social media. Why? Because you want to see if the person sitting in front of you who looks
perfect and fantastic, then you get on their social media and they’re just ripping people and, you know,
total negative and all that kind of crap. Is that the thing that you want in your business? So you have to
define what actions and attitudes do we want everywhere. When I look at my leadership team, what are
the actions and attitudes that I want from them? Do I want them to be incredible servants who are
doing everything they can to set their team members up for success? Or do I not care that their only
goal is to make as much money as they want to make.
Right? So define this. What are the actions and attitudes? What do we want when it comes to things like
responsibility versus entitlement? Listen, a lot of you have probably been in business long enough now,
that you’ve seen a comparison of when people were doing a great job taking responsibility and what
you’re seeing more and more and more is this entitlement mentality, where people believe that because
they breathe, you owe them so much stuff, right? So in your hiring process, you have to be asking the
question: Do I hire somebody who appears entitled? Do I hire somebody who looks like they deserve
something? Or do I hire somebody who’s like; “I cannot wait to come to your business and bust it
because I love what you guys stand for.” So as you’re defining your culture, what do you want
the responsibility to look like? What do you want things not to look like?
If you don’t want entitlement in there, then that’s got to be a part of the process. What does it look like
when it comes to integrity? What does it look like when it comes to honesty? At a sales team member
years ago, selling big-ticket items who came to me one day and was super excited because they got this
really big sale. And as they’re talking through and explaining to me, I’m celebrating with them, and then
they said something, and I said, now, hold on a second. That’s not accurate. And the person was like,
“well, but I mean, it doesn’t really matter.” And I’m like, no, it does matter. You lied to the person.
“Yeah. But it’s not even that big of a deal. I’m sure they’re not going to care.” And what I said was, “I
don’t care what you think.
Get back on the phone, you call that person and you tell them:”, “Hey, listen, I’m so sorry. I misspoke
about this here. This part isn’t actually correct. I wanted to make sure that I corrected this with you.” If
they want their money back, you give them their money back right now. And the response from the
team member was, “are you serious?” That right there was a very revealing moment I should say, of how
this team member looked at things and how they looked at integrity and honesty. And that very much
spoke to me that this is something I’m going to have to watch. I’m going to have to watch their integrity
as they deal with clients. After that, there were other integrity issues that I saw, not surprising, but it
was a great red flag for me to go:
“I better start really taking a hard look at this person.” Now, good thing was, they did call that person
back and explain to them, the customer was like, “it’s no big deal”, but they could see that we were
going to choose integrity. At least leadership was going to choose integrity and make sure that that
customer was taken care of. What does it look like inside of your business? Do you want people who are
just there to make money? I can’t tell you the number of people that I’ve turned away from our business
that have come in on interviews that believe that what we’re all about is making as much money as we
can. And I had to share with them, I’m sorry, I’m going to surprise you. Profit is number three inside of
my business. As far as motivating factors; God is number one, serving people is number two.
Profit is number three. Now, for some of you out there, you might be like, that’s just crazy. Well, okay,
that’s fine. I don’t have a problem with that. What I teach you is if you want to make as much money, I
will teach you all the ways to make money. But here’s what I want you to understand. At the end of the
day, there’s things way more important than money. The King of the universe is way more important
than money. Serving and helping people. You know, Zig used to say it all the time, “If you help enough
people get what they want, you will get all the stuff that you want.” Take care of people, right? So for
me, profit is not number one motivating factor. That has shocked some people and they did not stay in
the interview process. Great. That’s exactly what I want because what I do not want in my culture is
people who care more about money than taking care of clients, people who care more about money
than having, you know, God be a big part of their life.
So, also, do you have the ability inside, you know, when you’re taking a look at defining culture, do you
have, or do you want the ability for people to make mistakes? Now, the big caveat is how we take
responsibility around those mistakes. Like I said earlier, I explained to you how I look at those, what
happened? Why did it happen? How did it happen? How do we fix it? How do we make sure it never
happens again? Now that will solve a large portion, at least 90% of the mistakes that you have inside of
your business. If you follow that process, now there’s other ones that are going to take a lot more deep
dive into it. But, the crazy thing is, if you’re not making a lot of huge mistakes, then that process will
solve a bunch. Do your team, do they understand that they can make mistakes?
Do they know that they can make mistakes? That’s up to you. That is your job. The great thing is, is
around this place, people know that they can make mistakes. People know that they’re expected to
actually make mistakes, because if they don’t make mistakes, then they’re not doing anything. And I’m
not paying people to sit around and not do anything. I want them to take risks. I want them to get out
there and move things around, change things. Do what’s right. Make things better. So in our culture,
that is part of our definition. That is part of what we want. You have the ability to make mistakes. Don’t
make fatal mistakes and don’t keep making the same mistake. If you do, now, we will have a problem,
solve the problem. When you see that you have a mistake, solve the problem.
Leading the Culture
And again, guys, I’m giving you a handful of bullet points. There’s a lot more you can do to define exactly
the culture that you want. This isn’t something that’s going to take you three minutes to sit down and do
you really need to put your brain to this. If you want to win the culture war, you’ve got to spend time
busting this out. Next thing you need to do is, you need to teach it. Leader. It starts with you. Now think
about it. I’m teaching you this stuff. I’m talking about this. I’ve been talking about culture for decades.
This is stuff that we teach. What would it look like, if I did not model the very culture that I teach my
team? I have the kind of team who would call my butt out. They would call it out in a heartbeat. “Hey,
this isn’t something we do.”
We even had recently, a “I just want to find out guys, this is the stuff that we teach. Tell me where we
don’t do things that we teach. Show me anything. Anywhere that you can find that we don’t do it. I want
to know about it.” And we did an anonymous survey to the whole team: zero answers. The stuff that
came back. Well, we got answers, but they were “Nope. I can’t think of anything. We do the stuff that
we teach.” Leader. It starts with you. Now keep in mind. You’re not going to be perfect at this tomorrow.
This is something I’ve been practicing for decades. I screwed up plenty of stuff to get to the point of
going, “Hmm, I better do it the right way.”
Right? That’s the very things that we teach come out of the mistakes that we’ve made over decades of
time of doing stupid, and making mistakes and having to learn how to fix those things. So you have to
start with you on what does the culture look like? If you don’t model it, nobody’s going to follow it. Or
some people may follow it for a short period of time, but that’s not going to take long before they go:
“Well, my leader won’t do it. So what’s the point in me doing it as well?” You have to take a look at how
you teach it, teach it in meetings. Teach it in habits, create rhythms of how you do stuff. We do a lot of
teaching on our Monday staff meetings. We have a bunch of heavy meetings on Monday as we go
throughout the week, we have a teaching environment here where we’re constantly doing stuff.
We might have clients in and we’re having lunch or breakfast or dinner. And we talk through things and
we share those pieces of information. You can see the rhythms of people serving really well. You can see
the rhythms of people putting God first. You can see these habits. You have to actually model that, and
let other people see that it’s okay for them to do as well. And then use those opportunities to teach it.
Hey guys, here’s a situation. A client just came in and that person had a headache. And so and so just ran
to the store and picked them up some Advil or a prescription or whatever, as a matter of fact, that’s a
great example. We had a client for a stratplan. We had a leadership team here. And at one of the night
times, one of the leadership team member through their back out while they were sleeping! They woke
up in the morning and their back was just jacked up.
And so they came in and they were just crazy in pain. And what did we do? We hooked them up with my
chiropractor. We got him in. He wedged his back in to his schedule and took care of him. That’s what
you do. You take care of people. Man, was it a distraction for the leadership team? Sure it was. Did it
affect the stratplan? A little bit, but was everybody actually very happy that they didn’t have a team
member sitting there in pain for days? Yeah, absolutely. So what do you want it to look like? What are
those rhythms? What are those habits of taking care of people? What does that look like to your client?
What does that look like to your team? Your team needs to know that they can look out and go:
“This is what I know Chris would do, because I’ve seen him do it.This is what I know what our leaders
would do, because I’ve seen them do it. So this is what I’m going to do. I’m going to take this into my
own hands, take responsibility and go solve this problem for somebody.” So make sure that you’re
creating those habits. As you do this, as you continue to teach this, there’s something you’re looking for.
We talk about it a lot here, and that is a common language. You want to create a DNA inside of your
business, that people automatically start thinking about how to respond in culture. So you keep saying
the same stuff, a common phrase that you hear around here is “gain perspective.” We talk about it a lot.
We say it, we teach it. We ask people, “hey, did you gain perspective on that?”
“Hey, on this situation, did you gain perspective before you pulled the trigger on that? Hey, did you see
how we we were gaining perspective from the client in that coaching call?” We constantly use common
language. Another thing that we would say because we teach personality styles and communication like
crazy is “lean in the other person’s direction.” It’s another common language thing that creates this DNA
inside of our culture that says, “this is how we handle things.” You lean in the direction of the other
person, make sure that you’re speaking in their personality style, make sure that you are paying
attention to what they’re saying. Make sure that you’re asking plenty of questions. As you create that
common language, then you start to see that people will use that over and over and over again. And it
sets a habit. It creates a habit of actions and attitudes.
So what is my attitude when it comes to communication? It’s no longer do I win at communication, it’s
how do I set you up for success in communication? What is my action when it comes to communication?
Do I ask you plenty of questions to make sure that I’ve gained quality perspective? Do I have enough
information to make the decisions that I need to make? So create that in that process of that common
language, that common DNA, and help people to understand, Hey guys, this is what we do. We do this.
We treat people this way. We treat clients this way. The way that we take care of, you know, we don’t
leave a bunch of crap around, your desk, like crazy because it looks terrible when clients come in.I don’t
know whatever it is that you want to do as far as your culture. Oh, I’ll give you an example. When clients
come in here they are coming in very nervous. They’re coming in for a very intense event and they don’t
know what to expect. Help them feel at home. Help them feel welcomed
Immediately. If you will do that, it will set a great tone for them as they are here for a couple of days
going through something that’s intense and they’re still not sure what to expect. It’s great. Whenever
we have new hires, we do three events here for our next level mastermind group, at our office, in our
event space. And then we do one at a big hotel every year. So we have clients that are here multiple
times a year. So whenever we have somebody new, we always share with that new person, “Hey, we
treat our clients like family. We love our clients. They’re a part of our family. They’re part of our team.”
So when they come in, you have to understand that they are actually going to be the veterans here, not
So you’re going to see them tell you stories. They’re going to talk to you about all kinds of stuff. So don’t
respond as though your, the veteran here, because they will pick up on that very quickly. And it has
been hilarious to have team members come to me after a retreat. You know, we have a bunch of clients
come and go “Oh my gosh, this is home to them.” It’s like, yeah, we actually have a lot of clients that
when they walk in the door, they go “I’m home.” They feel at home here, they use things. They’re
putting their stuff in the refrigerator, they’re doing all kinds of stuff. And then they will tell stories to our
new team members of how our business has grown and what they’ve experienced since they’ve been
here. That is a phenomenal culture to have, not only with the internal client, but the external client,
when your external client loves being with you and your team and experiencing things and so much so
that they are a part of the family, that creates a, not only a common language, but that creates a
Next thing you need to do after you have defined it well, you’re teaching it incredibly well. You’re setting
up those, those habits and those rhythms. You need to recognize it. Guys listen. So leaders, we can find
people doing things wrong and struggle to find people doing things right. Business owners, it’s even
worse for business owners. All you can see is the things that people do wrong and you struggle to
recognize people doing things, right. Listen to me. I don’t care if you’re a leader, a business owner, a
father, a mother, whatever it is, find people doing things right. You’re trying to create a culture inside of
your business, a common DNA, inside of your business that people want to take care of. That people
want to operate incredibly well. Right? If they’re going to do it well, then they have to be rewarded.
People repeat what they’re rewarded for.
Let me say that again. People repeat what they’re rewarded for. So make sure that you’re recognizing
what they’re doing. Make sure that if they’re doing a great job, taking care of team members, if they’re
doing a great job taking care of clients, if they’re doing a great job with the way that they handled the
recent project, if they’re doing a great job, just looking around and saying that, you know, there’s trash
on the floor and picking it up, recognize the things that you want them to repeat, right? Make sure that
you do that. I’m actually saying this before. The next thing I’m going to say for a purpose, people need to
hear that they’re doing a good job with this. People need to see that they’re doing the right thing.
Otherwise, how do they know? If all they hear is that they’re doing something wrong and they never get
the great deposits of, “Hey, you’re doing this
well,” then all they’re going to do is protect themselves from doing the wrong thing. Let me say that
again. If all you do is tell people the things they’re doing wrong, then all they’re going to do is make sure
that their head doesn’t end up on the chopping block. They will protect themselves from doing wrong.
They will not take risks, which does not work in my business. I want my team members taking risks. They
will not take risks so that they don’t hear you telling them how they’re not good enough. Make sure
you’re looking in meetings to teach, to recognize, to call it out. Hey, great job in here. Hey, that was a
great question that you asked over there. Great job. Gaining perspective. Hey, well done. Leaning in this
person’s direction, whatever it is, call it out. When you see it in meetings, make sure that you’re saying
something about it. Even go into your meeting, looking for something to see done. Well, as far as culture
is concerned, look for somebody to do something that you can call out and say, Hey, great job with that.
I’m really impressed with that. Well done. In your hiring process, I can tell you this. If you want to stop a
lot of the cultural war, don’t let the cultural war in. No, no, that sounds like a “no duh”, but so many of
you have a very short hiring process. You will look at three
resumes and hope that you pick the one that smiled a lot and you know, really seem to like you. Guys,
you’ve got to do your hiring process incredibly well. That’s what we have a huge process that we do. And
we teach on making sure you’re hiring correctly. Look inside of your hiring process and ask these
questions. Does this person fit this aspect of culture? Does this person fit this aspect of culture? What
about this aspect of culture? So I’m going to give away a little secret to anybody who ever wants to work
here. Our initial call is a culture call. Do you fit our culture? If you don’t, you do not move up in the
interview process. Why? Because the last thing I want to do is put somebody in my building. Who’s
going to bring a bad culture in, or something that I’m going to have to work out of them, right?
So there’s no point in taking them onto any other interviews. If they respond terribly to questions that
we ask about how you would treat a client or what you would do in this situation or whatever it is, if
they’re not going to respond well, then they don’t get to move forward. Now with that, let me give you
this caveat. You cannot interview out everything. You just can’t. It’s impossible. Do the best job you can.
Now don’t take that as a, “Hey, get them in the door and then see if they fail or don’t”. Do the best job
you can on that hiring process and then make decisions as you go along. And once they’re inside work
really hard in the first 90 days to set them up for success and see how well they do, if it does not look
like they are going to be a good fit, if it looks like they are going to self sabotage, or sabotage parts of
your team, or your business or whatever, make smart decisions in that process.
Okay, we’re back. And we’re talking about the last thing I want you to really focus on. If you’re going to
win the culture war. The last piece is: you have to attack it. You have to attack the things that are not
going well. Folks, here’s what I know; I know a lot of you that are following have a high S personality
style, a high C personality style. I’m a very high S, so I don’t love conflict. And I know you don’t love
conflict. Now, some of you watching this, you’re like, “man, conflict is my morning cereal. I eat conflict
for breakfast.” That’s great. A lot of people can’t stand conflict, but here’s what I have come to know in
all of my years of leading, the reason why I’m confident and able to not only teach all of this stuff, but do
it like crazy, is because I had to get in a place of deciding what is going to be better.
Hoping that stuff hides itself under a carpet and goes away, or attack it the moment it pops up. So for
some of you, I know that sounds like a “Ooh, man. I just don’t want to do that.” But look, you keep
thinking that things are going away and they’re not. They’re just piling up under that carpet that you
shoved them under. Get those things handled as fast as you possibly can. If something starts to go awry
in your culture, attack it. If it starts to go sideways, if it starts to get, counter-cultural do something
about it. When you see somebody treating somebody badly, say something. I have literally watched
leaders allow somebody to rip somebody apart, somebody under them, rip another team member
apart. And their response was “well, but they’re right.” Okay. They may be right, but is that how you
want people to treat people?
Is there not a better way we can actually walk through this mistake or problem or whatever it is? Yes, of
course there is. But if you stand there allowing it to happen, then you’re endorsing that style of culture.
Let me say that again. You’re endorsing that style of culture. So don’t. Jump on it. If you see somebody
ripping somebody’s head off, say, “Hold up right there. We do not treat people this way. We don’t talk
to people this way.” Now what you’re talking about, you may be correct on, but we do not talk to people
this way. So back it up quickly. If you need a moment to sit down and get some control, great, do that.
But you are not going to talk to this person again that way. So not only is that going to stop that from
happening in your culture, at least it’s going to put a big dent in it.
You may have to do this, you know, many times over, but guess what communicates to the person
who’s getting their head ripped off?That you’re willing to protect the culture. Even if they’ve made a
mistake, that you’re willing to take care of them. So if things start to go awry, if things start to go
sideways, make sure that you’re attacking it as fast as possible. Make sure you have high levels of
accountability to the culture that you’ve set. If you’ve defined it, if you’ve taught it, if you’ve been
recognizing it, where’s the accountability? How do you make sure people are actually doing it? So put
things in place to make sure that people are responding to it. That they’re actually walking it out. I will
say this, a lack of high levels of quality communication is the number one issue in every business.
Every business that we help out, every business that we see, number one issue is high level, lack of
quality communication. Number two issue; and I know a lot of you business owners, don’t like this word
because you know, you were probably beaten over the head with it, is a lack of accountability. Now,
when I say accountability, I’m talking about quality, accountability, putting things in place to make sure
things happen correctly. That is something you need when it comes to your culture, it’s no different. You
have to have that accountability in place. Also you have to define what’s not acceptable, so that when
you see something that’s not acceptable, like ripping, somebody’s head off, you attack it right there on
the spot. People are not surprised. Teach your people to anticipate how you’re going to respond to
wrong actions, teach your people to anticipate how you’re going to respond to when they’re doing
something that is counter-cultural. Next thing you need to look out for, something that something that I
want you to attack, is this concept of ideological subversion.
What does that mean? That means pushing an ideology until whether it’s right or wrong or has facts or
whatever, pushing it so hard, until it dominates over another ideology. So what you may see is if you
have some team members, that are pushing their ideology, like crazy in hopes that you will cave, then
guess what? They’re not going to stop, until you either cave or you shut it down. So if you see people
responding with that kind of stuff, if you see that somebody’s pushing a different cultural, ideological
way of doing things than what you’ve put in place, shut it down.Jump on it, attack that right away. Do
whatever it takes. Do not allow that to continue. Don’t allow that to continue to affect your business
because eventually what will happen is, is that it won’t matter what the facts are. That ideology will be
the thing that takes place.
It will take center stage no matter who’s right or wrong. It just won’t matter. Last thing I want you to
look at is you got to watch out for what we would call “the drift.” If your culture is off 5%, let’s say you
drive this home and you’re doing a great job, and then all of a sudden, it just gets off a little bit. Well if it
starts curving out 5% over time, that’s going to grow to be a large percent off. So even if it starts to drift
a little bit, pull it back in line. If you will do this, then what you will create inside of your business is a self
policing process, where as you pull it back in, when it’s a little bit off, so will everybody else. So
companies that go out of business, lose sight of who they are, and why they exist.
When culture grows wild, not cultivated, a drift is what drives us to failure. Make sure you’re cultivating,
make sure that you’re defining it, that you’re teaching it, that you’re recognizing it and that you’re
attacking it. Make it happen. I would sum all that into saying: force the culture that you want to have
happen. If you’re leading your team through these clashes of culture in the right way, and you’re
showing them what you expect, and you’re shooting down the things that you don’t want, then pretty
soon they will start to respond exactly the way you want them to. As long as you are, again, recognizing
as much as calling out the bad things. So, last piece on this, you’re going to have some people who don’t
believe the way that you do. It’s very possible. It’s very possible that you’re going to have some folks
that as you put this culture in place, they may not stay on board.
That’s okay. We have had that happen many times. There are standards that we have. This is not an easy
place to work. We have high standards. We have high expectations here and we have had folks come in
That was all about it. Were super excited. Believed that they were on board with exactly the same
culture and values and things that we talk about, only to make some pretty heavy duty mistakes and
sabotage their way out. You’re going to possibly have that inside of this process. Expect it, don’t be
surprised. You might be surprised at who it is. That’s definitely possibility that’s happened to me
multiple times, where you think somebody is not going to sabotage their way out of this process, and
then they end up doing it, just know that, be prepared, be prepared for that happening.
You can’t interview everything out. You can’t solve every single thing for everybody. You can’t stop
somebody from making bad decisions. You can’t stop somebody from having, you know, moral failures
in the process, right? Do the best you can to protect the culture that you want for the business that you
have. If you do that, then you will be winning at the culture war. Well, folks, hopefully this has helped
you today. I’m so glad that you’ve joined us again. Please do us a favor, help us to reach more people. If
you would just rate the show, go to iTunes and rate the show, leave a comment. We would absolutely
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