Your Ping Pong Table Is Not Your Culture

Let’s make something crystal clear.

Company culture is NOT how many Nerf guns are in your office.

It’s not about having a ping-pong table.

It’s not the kitchen, the snacks, the sweet standing desks, or the Keurig, either.

Company culture is how you treat each other when the work gets hard, when the environment changes or when the house of cards crumbles.

Company culture is putting in the emotional labor required to respect others and to keep grinding together.

That said, you’re allowed to feel frustrated, angry, upset, sad, envious, all of it. You’re allowed to feel however you feel because that’s how feelings work. The next thing that happens though, is the important part. The next thing that happens after your feel something is how you react.

The important part is how you choose to react to your work family when you’re operating on little sleep, a bagel, and 3 layovers.

The important part is being the bad guy and calling out your teammates for not following safety protocols you all agreed on together.

The important part is pulling a teammate aside to figure out why they aren’t acting like themselves.

The important part is realizing you’re not acting like yourself and changing your behavior.

The important part is working through the most critical problems first, even if you’d rather be working on something else.

In fact, this is more than company culture. This is an Operating Religion.

An Operating Religion is the world-view, values, and actions we choose to hold in order to best serve our clients, customers, teammates and the other humans on this pale, blue planet.

This is the belief system we use to show up as our best selves and build something much bigger than ourselves.

When we are a united front, that’s when we do our best work.

When we’re committed to each other, that’s when we get things done.

When we’re honest with each other, that’s when we have the best output.

2 Minute Action

If you work on a team or if you fly solo, you’ve got culture.

Culture is your religion. It’s the value system you’re obsessed with.

Not sure what your values actually are? Run a quick Google search for Values Assessments. There are plenty that are used in high-functioning organizations.

Start with this one.

If you can already name your top 3-5, put them down in a list.

Next to them, write one thing that you will do today that’s in line with your values.

– Kindness – (Write a thank you letter and hand it to the mechanic who saved you $40 at your last visit)

– Friendship – (Set up a skype call with a friend overseas to catch up)

– Usefulness – (Donate something that you don’t use or need anymore)

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