Culture is Top Down


Corporate culture is determined top down. There is no such thing as great corporate culture despite the leaders. Great culture only exists when leaders exhibit the qualities they want to see from their teams. The worst is when managers complain about their own team culture. “I don’t understand why my team is always bitching and complaining!” Touche.

Why is this? It’s because people, for the most part, are coachable and want to succeed (I say “most part” because unfixable assholes do exist and that is a hiring problem). Corporations are organized in a way that incentives upward mobility. So for the most part, employees are looking up and learning what they need to do to go up. If they see leaders politicizing and getting rewarded, they will mimic those behaviors, creating a political culture. If leaders exhibit teamwork and integrity, that will trickle down the organization and create a positive culture.

So if you are a leader of an organization and want to build a good positive culture, first look at yourself and how your fellow leaders are acting. You may be able to fix your corporate-wide culture issue just within the leadership team.


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