The Strategic Business Blog

Company Culture: Do You Want To Be Right or Successful?

Posted by Chris Nesbitt

Much of creating a championship company culture has to do with the values and attitudes of the business owner, manager or leader in a company. When creating a company culture, it is important to decide what type of culture or environment we want to create and what values and attitudes are important in creating that culture. Once the values and attitudes are decided upon, it is absolutely essential that the business owner(s), along with the managers and leaders in the business, commit to living out those values and having the right attitudes in everything they do at work.

Businesses are made up of people. There is a direct correlation of success in business between those who are good at creating and maintaining good working relationships and those who are not.

Most business owners, managers and leaders have one thing in common – a strong ego.  A strong ego can be positive. It can drive us to accomplish great success. However, it can also be negative and destructive to the working relationships in an organization.

The negative side of an ego says:

  • Company Culture EgoI want the credit. It was my idea.
  • I know more than you.
  • I’m always right.
  • I want control.
  • I want to win this argument.
  • It’s all about me.

This side of an ego is harmful and destructive to an company culture.

One way we can keep our ego in check is to regularly ask ourselves:

Do I want to be right or successful?

Is my ego getting in the way of my business' success? (Click to tweet this)

Of course, there will be times when you are right in what should be done for your business to succeed. However, it is important to make sure that the negative side of our egos do not get in the way of our business success. How is your ego affecting your business?

Keeping Our Ego in Check Will Help Us:

  1. Have a Company Culture Focused on the Company’s Success – Let’s face it. There are going to be multiple people with strong egos in most organizations. We have to decide – are we more concerned with being right or working together as a team to succeed. It’s okay to have a strong opinion that your strategy is the most effective. However, someone else may have a better strategy or your strategy may not work out the way you thought it would. Are you the first to admit your strategy wasn’t the best or are you too busy defending why you were right to be able to focus on the overall company’s success?
  2. Encourage a Company Culture of Teamwork & Collaboration – If an idea has to be yours for you to accept it as a good idea to act upon, after a while your employees and partners will stop bringing new ideas to you. When this happens, an organization will often stagnate and stop growing. As a manager and leader, be willing to truly listen to new ideas and encourage others to come up with new ideas and strategies. This is one of the first steps in creating a collaborative company culture. One application of this is to be the last one to speak. I learned a long time ago that if an idea or solution comes to mind when I’m in a room with other forward thinking individuals, it is likely that someone else had the same idea. Once an idea comes to mind, wait to see if someone else mentions the idea; and then if no one mentions your idea, share the idea yourself. Usually the person who speaks the most or the loudest isn’t the one who has the greatest impact.
  3. Fight the Tendency to Add Too Much Value – Good leaders focus on trying to add value in everything they do and with everyone they encounter. One of the most exciting times for a manager (specifically one who is also a leader and not just someone in a manager position) is when an employee is starting to figure out how to be more productive and get better results. This is a sign that they are beginning to take more responsibility for their results. At this critical and exciting juncture, we must fight the tendency to add more value to what they have just learned on their own. Instead of showing them how much more we know, we should affirm them for figuring out what they did. We want to encourage them to continue figuring out how to get better results without thinking that we’ll always have something to say that’s better than what they come up with. Of course, there is a place for training but there is such a thing as being too aggressive and overbearing with how much value we try to add. Are we trying to create robots that only do what we say or do we want empowered employees that creatively focus their energies on improving their results, possibly outperform us, and in turn drive our company to higher degrees of success?

Is it worth it to put our egos to the side in order to have a championship company culture and for our businesses to thrive?

I believe so.

What are some other ways you keep your ego in check or benefits of doing so in order to have a championship company culture?



Chris Nesbitt is a small business consultant and managing partner of Strategic Business Directs. Connect with him on LinkedIn and Google+.

Topics: Company Culture