If you don’t do anything else today, read this and apply the lessons learned.

During my career I worked with two organizations that were in similar industries, of comparable size, but were vastly different in terms of their company culture and resulting success – or lack thereof.

The table below compares company A with company B, looking at multiple criteria, including my ACTIVE leadership model.

ACTIVE CriteriaCompany ACompany B
Aim or PurposeClear, concise and well communicated.Unclear, unknown.
CollaborationHighly collaborative team spirit.Highly competitive, insular.
Teach or CoachDaily, top down, side to side, bottom up.Limited.
Influence orientationPeer oriented. Partnership.Command and control.
VulnerabilityEvident. Humble. Accepting.Insular. Protective. Closed.
Engaged employeesIndividuals act on own.Wait for direction. Not initiative-taking.
Other Criteria

SponsorshipActively engagedNowhere to be found
Leadership alignmentEmphaticallyNone (see sponsorship)
Expectations of staffHigh and clearUnknown
Goal orientationAchievementPolitical

It may seem hard to believe that two vastly different organizations like this exist, but it’s true. The real impact is in the results, and when you compare the two, it’s clear who the winner is.


Large Scale Program successOn time, under budget, exceeded business requirementsExtremely late, over budget, massive scope reductions, lost business requirements
Leadership progressionMany leaders promoted to larger responsibilitiesGood leaders left organization; others RIF’d.
Ultimate company legacyUniversally recognized, quality brand name, great customer service.Acquired and absorbed into major international conglomerate.

The results speak for themselves. And for leaders who say culture does not matter, or those that think culture is that fluffy stuff that they don’t want to deal with, please think again. It’s quite clear that culture does matter, and leaders must pay attention to it.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: LinkedIn, in its infinite wisdom, has blocked my account. Believe me, I’m beyond frustrated. In the meantime, please send me an email with your thoughts on this article. This is also a reminder that my email address is changing to steve.salisbury@mail.com. You can start using this now.

Please like and share this post on LinkedIn to improve its visibility. And while you’re there, please add your thoughts or comments.

Change. Grow. Win.

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