With so many definitions floating out there, this is an important question. Thank you for asking it. At Culture Booster, we define culture as an organization's approach to pursuing its goals. It shows up in values, group norms, behaviors, incentives, and beliefs. John Doer perfectly describes how these components lead to two options that leaders choose from while advancing their mission. Option 1 is a mercenary approach, and option 2 is a mission one. As Doerr states, "Both work," but the question is which one would you rather work within?
Option 1 - Mercenary
The mercenary approach has a lust for making money. The lust for making money causes these leaders to obsess over the competition and fret over financial statements. The primary focus on financial performance makes them sprinters focused on short term gains. A wake of turnover, low customer ratings, and disengagement are what's left in their path.
What drives this approach is paranoia. Paranoia leads to managers who are bosses of wolf packs where the center of attention is "what do I get." Strangely enough, the result is success. That is if financial gain was how you define it.
Option 1 - Missionary
The missionary approach has a lust for making meaning. The lust for making meaning causes these leaders to obsess over customers; fret over 'values' statements. The primary focus of making a difference makes them marathoners focused on long term gains. A wake of dedicated employees, loyal customers, and engagement as a competitive advantage is their legacy.
What drives this approach is passion. Passion leads to managers who are coaches of teams where the consistent question is asked, "what can I give." This mentality of contribution ultimately leads to success and significance. Financial gain and the satisfaction of making a difference finds its home here.
The choice is yours. As you're encouraging others to join your organization, which approach will be most efficacious for you? Which method will make your organization a destination employer? When you're sitting in your rocking chair during retirement, which culture would you be proud to have been a part of and helped develop? As you embrace the answers to these questions, invite other leaders to do so as well.