The Undivided Life Blog


Great company culture should drive people away.

company culture keynote speaker leadership Jan 20, 2023
Jeff Schiefelbein receiving a hug from Michael Clifton

Great company culture should drive people away.   

Yes, that’s right, you should still respect the dignity of all people, but not everyone is ready to operate with the behaviors and attitudes that match your company’s direction.

Like a strong magnet, your culture should both attract and repel.  

And you should be intentional about creating a space that wards off people with certain behaviors.

Want a good example?

I’ve helped to architect team-based sales cultures at several organizations. Each time, we created incentive programs, communication tools, and offsites that promoted the strength and combined wisdom of the group.

We balanced individual accountability with collaboration, information sharing, and the expectation of driving team success over-and-above personal success.

The tangible way we approached teamwork was very attractive to some people who went on to have incredible careers and personal growth because of their participation.

For others, the opposite was true. The culture chased them away.

One man viewed sales as a place to be a lone wolf with no connection to others. His view was neither right nor wrong; it just wasn’t a good match for that culture. He didn’t last long.

Another man wanted everyone to know how great he was at sales and all his past accolades. During an offsite, everyone shared things they were proud of in their personal lives from the past year. They included stories about personal growth, being proud of their kids, and growing closer to their community, while this man let everyone know how much margin he signed at his last job.  His desire for personal glory was neither right nor wrong, but in the end, it wasn’t a good match for that culture.

The lesson here is that we shouldn’t build companies attempting to be all things to all people.

Great company cultures should both attract and repel as part of their design.

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