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3 Keys To A Kickass Culture

Is “Kickass” taking it too far? Maybe but we want our culture to be dynamic right? Does anyone even say kickass anymore? Well, I do so it stays. Let’s get to it.

The most important part of creating an amazing culture is to make sure that we all understand how incredibly important culture is. Some of the top business leaders today will tell you that their companies culture is at the core of their success and I happen to agree. If you truly value your culture and make sure that it is authentic to what you believe, great things will happen.  So what are some key components to getting it right? Here are three things for you to consider:

  1. Get your priorities straight. As I see it, culture is about your purpose; the emotion driving what you do. Strategy is about tactics and planning your business. Both are very important to success but sometimes get confused. It’s easy for leaders to get caught up on business strategy, and push culture to the backseat. Make no mistake, culture IS THE PRIORITY so if you get that right and make sure your strategy lines up, you will be on your path.
  2. Be grateful for stuff. So how do you work that into your culture? Most self-help experts today will tell you that embracing an attitude of gratitude actually makes you a happier person so would you like to have a company filled with happier employees? When you accomplish a project celebrate the people that got you to the finish line. Don’t just thank them, do something about it; actions speak louder than words.  If you make your numbers for the quarter buy everyone lunch or ice cream. How about sending a handwritten note? Don’t stop there, you also need to be grateful for the adversity. Pause on a failure or two, call out the learning from it, and make sure that everybody understands that failing is part of it and it can be good as long as it’s cheap and not something that is being repeated! If you are DOING things to show your team that you appreciate them, what will the impact of that be? If you somehow encourage and expect them to show that same kindness to each other, will your customers benefit from it?
  3. Deflect and accept. When I worked at Leggett and Platt I got to experience this first hand, especially when it came to Karl Glassman and Perry Davis. These guys were really tough to compliment. When anyone would say something nice about the job they did the very first thing out of their mouth was something like, “I appreciate that but it was Johnny that really made it happen.” They weren’t just saying it either, they meant it. This kind of humility, especially at the top of most companies where massive egos are running wild, is a big deal. If this isn’t really how you feel then spare everyone the “gesture” because people will know you are faking your way through it, but if you practice shining a light on others you will enjoy the results in a very significant way. Here is the other side of that, you have to deflect praise but ACCEPT responsibility for all things under your direction. I can think of managers in companies that I have worked for that duck and hide when something goes wrong, throwing their own team under the bus. If you are one of those people you need to seriously re-think your approach to business and just know that everyone around you thinks you’re an idiot. What? IT’S TRUE.

Does your company really value culture and DO THINGS that represent that this is true, show their gratitude towards people that deliver results, and encourage their leaders to deflect praise and accept responsibility? What if it did?

“Customers will never LOVE a company until the employees LOVE it first.” Simon Sinek


Do your employees LOVE YOUR COMPANY? You’d be a lot cooler if they did. Be the first to name that movie reference in the comments section and you will receive your very own Dos Marco Podcast t-shirt. Their collector’s items you know. 🙂

8 thoughts on “3 Keys To A Kickass Culture

    1. Atta boy Brett, well done. I know that you are going to wear this t-shirt with pride! 🙂 Send me your mailing address and shirt size and I will make it happen! Thanks for playing.

  1. Mark,

    Great column. Spot on. Particularly the part about deflect and accept. (Something I need to work on)

    And your quote is so appropriate since I’ve always considered you the “David Wooderson” of the mattress industry.

    1. Nathan, I have to admit I had no idea who David Wooderson was so I had to look it up. You were not the first correct answer HOWEVER, you did slip in the reference to Mathew McConaughey’s character in “Dazed and Confused” so you will also win a Dos Marcos Podcast t-shirt. WELL DONE and thanks for playing Nathan. Send me your mailing address and t-shirt size to Now I am going to have to go back and watch that movie to see if I should be offended or flattered by being compared to him…it’s been a long time. 🙂

  2. Alright, Alright, Alright! I saw Kinsley rocking the shirt last week at the bedding conference. I will wear it with pride!

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