Today’s video features Good Comes First book co-authors Mark Babbitt and yours truly discussing a core foundation of a purposeful, positive, productive work culture. Here’s an excerpt.

Chris: “What I find when I, you and I both experienced that as we work with leaders to help them define what values mean, what does respect mean? What are the two or three behaviors that you want? Teamwork? To demonstrate with each other, with their bosses. You want bosses to demonstrate with current staff, potential hires, customers, etc.

You have to get very, very specific in essence, create measurable behaviors that define what your values are. And then most leaders would say, “Cool. Let’s announce those. And then everyone will magically embrace them.” Well, that’s not what happens. So just as leaders have been taught and trained and incented over decades, maybe centuries to formalize performance expectations and monitor the tar out of them and then don’t celebrate much, but redirect a lot, mentor a lot.”

Mark: “The definition is key to Good Comes First, to create an uncompromising company culture. You and I worked with a client and we ask them to define integrity. And we asked 20 people what integrity means and we got 14 different answers. How do we get people on the same page? Even when your company says that’s a core value there’s no agreement on what it looks like.

14 different answers! And so it becomes a war of words. And I think that’s what Good Comes First does: Clearly define that value. So it’s not ambiguous. It’s not open to interpretation. No, this is how we see integrity here.

Here’s what integrity means to us. And here’s another key thing that came from that work was a lot of people, especially younger employees, tied integrity to social issues. They said, “We can’t act one way inside the walls and then ignore what’s going on in the outside of the world.” We started writing this book three years ago, but from the very beginning, one of our cornerstones for Good Comes First was to use our voice for good.

Now, since we started writing that we’ve had several issues, including black lives matter, police injustice, and other social inequities that, that have surfaced. And it’s just magnified almost in a way that the hybrid, the remote workforce that we started talking about three years ago in the book, it, companies started perfecting that as the book was being written.

Corporate America has gotten a lot better at remote work over the last 18 months, but we haven’t gotten better yet at the social issues. We’re still fighting those every day. And, the cornerstone user voice. We can no longer sit back and go, ‘All we care about is our shareholders. All we care about is market share.’ We have to have a voice in the world and we have to stand up for what’s right.”

Good Comes First will be released on September 28, 2021. Learn more and pre-order your copy at

This is episode five of our Good Comes First video series. You’ll find Good Comes First and Culture Leadership Charge episodes and more on my YouTubeiTunes, and Amazon Podcast channels.

Have you responded to this month’s culture leadership poll? Add your ratings to two questions – it takes less than a minute. Once you vote, click “results” to see the responses from around the globe.

Video production was brilliantly handled by Phelos Productions – Chris Archuleta and David Towers.

S. Chris Edmonds

Chris helps leaders create purposeful, positive, productive work cultures. He's a speaker, author, and executive consultant. He blogs, podcasts, and video casts. He is the author of two Amazon bestsellers: Good Comes First (2021) and The Culture Engine (2014).
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