I loved the movie Jerry Maguire! When I was early into my business, it reminded me that when you do the right thing and stay the course, the success you desired will eventually seek you out. It reminds me of something bigger than that as well, though. It reminds me of what goes right and what goes wrong in many businesses as they are seeking to elevate their success. If you remember from the movie, Rod Tidwell of the Arizona Cardinals, played by Cuba Gooding Jr., had balance in his personal life but had a lot of attitude and struggle on the field. Jerry Maguire, played by Tom Cruise, began the movie with a lot of money and no balance in his personal life. Both of them evolved through the movie to discover that it was the peace within them and the culture they created around them that brought them success.
When Rod Tidwell makes the most incredible catch of his life, the culture he has at home begins to shine through in his victory celebration on the field. When this happens, his coach and teammates embrace his talent instead of just his attitude. This story resonated so much with me because of the struggles I see in business today with whether the focus should be on the money or the culture and people. I see organizational leaders so focused on cutting expenses that they forget the state (feelings) of their people will determine the actions they take. When people feel beaten down, they perform at lower levels. This results in less profit to work with, which results in organizational leaders trying to cut more expense.
When we are certain about our position but not clear about what that position will result in, we take deliberate, and often wrong, actions. For example, in studying the profitability of various companies as compared to their model of leadership, those with better cultures consistently financially outperformed those with cultures of mistrust. When our people look at us as leaders and see that we truly care about them and their balance in life, they give us their full focus while they are at work. There is as much as a 35% difference in productive output of a fully engaged employee versus an employee who is there to simply get their job done. Our goal as leaders has to be to go beyond getting people to show up for their job. Our goal has to be to create a culture where people love coming to work, feel that they are a part of something bigger than themselves, have the chance to be somewhat autonomous, and are invested in for their future success. When we provide all the necessary resources for them to do their job to the best of their ability, and provide the right culture, Success itself will chase you down.
You will not have to yell, "Show Me The Money" because the money will be all around you. Consistently, for the last 19 years of building up bold cultures, I have seen the profits of organizations increase at 10X or more the investment in building great cultures. If you want to see the money, "SHOW ME THE CULTURE!"
Culture beats strategy every single time!