It all Starts with Culture

I just started reading a book entitled You Win in the Locker Room First, written by Jon Gordon and Mike Smith.  In the first chapter, the authors make this statement:

"Culture drives expectations and beliefs; expectations and beliefs drives behavior; behavior drives habits; and habits create the future.  It all starts with culture."

For me, I don't know if I've ever read a better statement on culture.  Culture, and it's formation and maintenance, is one of leadership's primary responsibilities.  But it doesn't end there.  Culture should be the responsibility of everyone!  

We spend a lot of time at Crawford reinforcing our Guiding Principles and Core Values.  You either stand for something or you'll end up standing for everything or nothing.  Our Guiding Principles and Core Values define what we stand for.  I could summarize it like this:

"At Crawford Landscaping, we stand for impeccable quality, world class customer service (rooted in the saying "do unto others and as you would have done unto you"), always doing what we say we're going to do, and being good stewards of all that we're entrusted with.  We achieve this by surrounding ourselves with a team who...take ownership of their jobs and are committed to their results...have great "can do" attitudes...operate with integrity at all times...take pride in their work and our company...possess great knowledge and experience...are resourceful and find ways to get things done when others cannot...and finally, are passionate about what they do."

It is crucial we as a team portray these qualities and contribute positively to our culture.  At Crawford, we believe in evaluating a teammate according to their competency and their contribution to our culture.  Competency and culture - you must have both, no exceptions.  

Last week I posted each of our core values directly from a document entitled Core Values - Long Version.  It's the long version because a lot of time and energy went into defining exactly what each Core Value means to us.  I would encourage you to read those frequently, and share them with your teams.  Reward and correct based on them.    

Lastly, I will leave you with another quote from the book: "As a leader, it is so important that your words equal your actions.  It is imperative that you make sure that you go through a self-evaluation process on an almost daily basis to make sure that your actions are in line with your words.  You must do what you say and say what you do."  Intentionality - be intentional about you and your teams contribution to our culture.

Source: You Win in the Locker Room First, by Jon Gordon and Mike Smith, published in 2015

Jon Gordon is the author of 15 books including 5 best-sellers: The Energy Bus, The Carpenter, Training Camp, You Win in the Locker Room First and The Power of Positive Leadership. Jon and his tips have been featured on The Today Show, CNN, CNBC, The Golf Channel, Fox and Friends and in numerous magazines and newspapers. His clients include The Los Angeles Dodgers, The Atlanta Falcons, Campbell Soup, Dell, Publix, Southwest Airlines, LA Clippers, Miami Heat, Pittsburgh Pirates, BB&T Bank, Clemson Football, Northwestern Mutual, Bayer, West Point Academy and more.  Check out his website

Mike Smith is an American football coach who is the defensive coordinator for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers of the National Football League (NFL). He is the former head coach of the NFL's Atlanta Falcons, a position he held from 2008 to 2014.  During his tenure as the head coach of the Falcons, Smith became the franchise's winningest coach by number of wins in addition to being the recipient of the 2008 NFL Coach of the Year Award by the Associated Press and was also voted NFL Coach of the Year Award by the Sporting News three different times 2008, 2010 and 2012.