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.

Mark: “I often say, Chris, that most of what I learned about leadership was on the baseball field as a coach for three decades now. On the diamond, I learned that if you set rules and then you don’t follow those rules yourself – for instance, if you say showing up late to practice is unacceptable, but then you show up late – you’ve not only destroyed the values. You’ve not only destroyed the culture. You destroyed integrity, trust, respect.”

Chris: “How do they know what to believe?”

Mark: “In writing this book and in our work together, we got to learn from good bosses, the great bosses, and those that weren’t so great. It’s been interesting and in a couple of places within Good Comes First, we compare good comes first cultures with not so good cultures and good leaders with not so good leaders.

And it’s been very interesting to put in words what makes a great leader and, and what makes a leader untrustworthy. Some of these examples from clients helped us see where the failures are coming from.

Leaders bring us in. They say they want their culture to steer toward good. But then when we actually get in there, you find out the leaders aren’t the problem solvers. They’re actually the problem.

The best leaders by far we’ve discovered over the years and now with Good Comes First are the mentor-based leaders, the servant leaders.

That’s why mentorship is so important within Good Comes First. If you say that one of our values is we respect each other enough to show up on time and to be fully present, you have to follow the rules you set.

I have to model them. I have to coach them. I have to expect them, not just from other people, but from myself and every leader.

That’s not a common characteristic of many leaders. They don’t hold themselves accountable.

Leaders can’t just keep doing what they’ve been doing and expect their culture to change.

in Good Comes First, we help you develop an uncompromising company culture, where everybody knows what to expect every single day. And people are expected to live up to those expectations every single day. And so we can’t keep leading as we used to lead.”

Good Comes First publishes on September 28, 2021. Learn more and order your copy at

This is episode six 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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