How to Undermine Your Culture

I’m not sure the original attribution of the following visual – I think Jack Welch talked about the principle in a video I saw once. I’d welcome a note telling me the original source. I include it anyway because it speaks to an issue that I see too often: organizations have nice posters around the place proclaiming their values, but someone who habitually violates them is tolerated because their numbers are good.


If you allow people with good results but poor respect for your values to continue with their act, you utterly undermine your leadership credibility and erode the culture. This is a test of leadership courage. Although it may be tempting to keep such people for the results they bring, you actually incur all sorts of hidden costs: managerial time dealing with the friction, lower morale among other staff, knock-on effects on customers, less managerial credibility for you. Other than that, as the saying goes, there’s nothing wrong with it.

© Andrew Bass 2012. All rights reserved.