We’re often inspired by the culture of fast-growing companies. But the things we tend to notice — like casual Fridays, a 4-day work week, or Ping-Pong tables in the breakroom — aren’t actually culture. They’re perks.
Thanks to Matt Mayberry, author of Culture Is the Way, I have a deeper grasp of the importance of culture and the impact it can have on growth and profits.
“Culture serves as the internal compass for an organization’s fundamental beliefs, how the organization behaves daily, and its level of market performance.” Without a defined culture, he explains, “there will be a collapse in performance, and eventually profit and growth.”
Yikes! If that doesn’t motivate you to take culture more seriously, nothing will.
Culture Is the Way is a groundbreaking book, unlocking a key ingredient to business growth that most of us ignore. Not only does it break down this difficult topic, it boldly corrects our misunderstandings, inspires us to do better, and shows us how to build a world-class culture that rivals those big brands we’re so impressed by.
About the Author
Matt Mayberry isn’t your typical business consultant. His pedigree isn’t an MBA. It’s his former life as a linebacker in the NFL.
Mayberry is an internationally acclaimed keynote speaker and leading global expert in leadership development, culture change, and organizational performance. His insights on leadership and business performance have been featured in Forbes, Fox News, Business Insider, Fortune, NBC, ESPN, and several other major media outlets.
I’m a huge football fan, and I firmly believe there are significant life lessons to be learned from the game. But Mayberry doesn’t just talk about those life lessons. He’s extracted them, distilled them into a methodology, and proved their value through more than a decade of speaking and consulting with some of the world’s top brands.
Who Should Read Culture Is the Way?
This book is aimed primarily at CEOs, founders, and leaders — anyone who needs to ensure everyone is on the same page, driving organizational performance. Mayberry would tell you that transforming your culture can engage your employees, make them more productive, and empower them to deliver excellence.
But if you’re a startup or future founder, this book can be invaluable to you as well. It’s your guide for creating a stand-out culture from Day One. It will help you define your organizational DNA, and knowing that, how to hire the right people and get them on board, so you’re not playing catch-up down the road.
My Biggest Takeaways
Honestly, I got far more from this book than I expected — about culture, management, and leadership.
Without it, I might have continued to hire great people and build a cohesive team, but I would have been groping in the dark, struggling to transfer my passion for excellence to my team.
After reading Culture Is the Way, I have a playbook for building a team that can execute on my vision. That gives me confidence and gets me excited about the future.
What I’ve realized is that we take culture for granted, as if it will build itself. Not true.
As with everything else related to business growth, you need to be purposeful. You need to know what you’re trying to create and focus daily on moving towards that vision.
“Be ruthlessly clear about who you are as an organization, where you want to go, and the action plan for achieving those goals.”
But you don’t do that by coming up with a slogan, slapping it on some posters, and waiting for results.
“Words don’t build culture or change culture by themselves. It takes action. True cultural change starts when behavioral change at scale begins to take root.”
Mayberry’s history as an athlete provides a wonderful metaphor for this level of commitment. He talks about the cultures of different ball clubs and how coaches reinforce that culture to ensure everyone is in sync.
New ball players are given thick playbooks that spell out what’s expected, how to live out the culture, and how to make it part of their DNA. That’s how winning teams are built.
It’s also how winning companies are built.
“Creating a sustainable culture that has an extraordinary impact on transforming business performance demands a special kind of love affair with what your organization does daily. It demands unwavering fanaticism to the ongoing process and journey.”
Bottom line, if you care about your business, you need to care about your culture. Because culture is the engine that drives success.
Essential Reading for Business Leaders
You know this: only about 20% of your workers are actively engaged in their job. Imagine what would happen if you could get the other 80% excited about their role in driving growth. Imagine if you could improve productivity by even a little bit.
Your team would do better work. They’d take better care of your customers. They’d bring in higher profits and bigger opportunities for growth.
Culture really is the way. It’s your biggest competitive advantage.
I wouldn’t have believed it before reading this book, but now I’m a believer. You can bet I’m now prioritizing my business’s culture. If you want to be competitive, I recommend you do the same.
This book is a rare gift to anyone smart enough to read and apply its simple lessons. For ambitious companies, it’s a must-read.