Brian Chesky, Co-Founder of Airbnb, asked venture capitalist Peter Thiel, “what is the single most important piece of advice you have for us?” Thiel’s response? “Don’t f@#k up the culture.” Blunt words from the man who had invested 150M in Airbnb. The culture of Airbnb was one of Peter’s main attractions. They discussed that along with growth can come change but Peter let him know to never lose sight of the culture that contributed to the company’s success.
Brian Chesky said it best when he addressed his entire team of the conversation he had with Peter.
“So how do we build culture? – By upholding our core values in everything we do. Culture is a thousand things, a thousand times. It’s living the core values when you hire; when you write an email; when you are working on a project; when you are walking in the hall. We have the power, by living the values, to build the culture. We also have the power, by breaking the values, to f@#k up the culture. Each one of us has this opportunity, this burden.”
–Brian Chesky, Co Founder of Airbnb
A healthy organization, defined by Patrick Lenioni, author of The Advantage “is one that maintains a cohesive leadership team, establishes clarity about what it stands for, communicate that clarity repetitively, and puts in place processes and systems to reinforce that clarity over time.”
Whatever your organization or place of work may be, each of us has the power to contribute and be involved in cultivating and upholding the company’s values and culture. The stronger the culture, the healthier the organization will be, bringing an outcome of achievement and company success. So ask yourself, are you doing your part?
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