There's an expression I heard recently for the first time that really resonated with me:

"Any jackass can tear down a barn, but it takes a carpenter to build one."

It couldn't be truer for building the culture within your organization. Anyone can come in be a cancer and destroy what you've built. Intentionally or unintentionally.

Constant complaining. Telling people bad things they feel are happening to them in the company. Saying that a manager or a boss is a jerk. Coming in late. Rolling their eyes during company presentations. Not following up with clients (internal or external).

These are the little things that destroy a culture. No matter how good the product or service is. This behavior tears down the barn.

It can be in the back office; it can be in sales. It can be in marketing; it can be in human resources. It can be in development or in the executive suite. It can be anywhere. Continuing on my barn analogy, bad culture people (culture takers) are like termites.

It takes a carpenter to build a barn. Someone who understands the quality of the wood product. Someone who cares enough about the measurements being exact. Someone who cares about using the right-sized boards. Someone who views it as a craft.

Whether you are selling paperclips, buying real estate, lawyers or manufacturers, it's your craft. Training people is so valuable, not so you know they know how to do it, but so you can see how seriously they take the training. If they don't take the training seriously, will they ever take the craft seriously? Will they ever really, truly care about your clients? When you hire people, look at whether they want to learn the craft. Are they serious about anything in their life?

Create a training program that has monotony in it. Because every job has repetition and make sure that your new employees realize there will be repetition. How seriously do they take doing the same thing over and over and over again, and being perfect at it? It's the one thing about only have one duty, you should be able to be perfect at it if that is all you do.

Then, once they show you they care about that one function, and they want to be a "carpenter," show them how to build the barn. Don't tell them to do it, show them.

We have a new generation of white collar workers. They want to be white collar apprentices. They want to work side-by-side their leaders.

You will be surprised what you get when you teach rather than tell. Remember, any jackass can tear down a barn. Be a carpenter.

Published on: Sep 28, 2016
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