Good Comes First: How Today's Leaders Create an Uncompromising Company Culture That Doesn't Suck

Good Comes First: How Today's Leaders Create an Uncompromising Company Culture That Doesn't Suck

Good Comes First: How Today's Leaders Create an Uncompromising Company Culture That Doesn't Suck

Good Comes First: How Today's Leaders Create an Uncompromising Company Culture That Doesn't Suck


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Discover the practical, step-by-step guide to creating a workplace culture that’s better for employees, customers, and stakeholders—and your company’s bottom line.

For decades, talented people have tolerated old-school leaders who put results before respect, toxic company cultures, and workplaces that suck. But those days are over, and if leaders want to attract and retain the best employees—while improving productivity, customer service, employee satisfaction, and profits—it’s time for them to create work cultures where good comes first.

The problem is that because the corporate world has too often been driven primarily by results, we seldom ask leaders to change their work cultures. Even if we did, most leaders don’t know how. This book provides the actionable inspiration and practical direction needed to make that change happen.

In Good Comes First, S. Chris Edmonds and Mark S. Babbitt go beyond theoretical advice, using their combined 50 years of experience to present proven strategies for creating purposeful, positive and productive work cultures. Cultures where good comes first for employees, customers, leaders, and stakeholders—and where improved business outcomes quickly follow.

In these pages, readers will learn to:
  • Appreciate why a good comes first culture is a business imperative – especially for younger generations.
  • Distance yourself from the competition that maintains its undefined work culture (one that most likely sucks).
  • Identify what “good” means for your company in today’s business climate – and in the future of work.
  • Define your uncompromising work culture as you build a foundation of respect AND results.
  • Formalize your team’s servant purpose so that everyone understands how what your team does improves lives and communities.
  • Specify respectful behaviors, so your desired values are observable, tangible, and measurable.
  • Align your entire organization to your desired work culture – where good comes first every day.
  • Assess the quality of your current work culture by measuring and monitoring how well your leaders and your executive team demonstrate your servant purpose, valued behaviors, strategies, and goals.
  • Hold everyone accountable for both respect and results through modeling, celebrating, measuring, coaching, and mentoring leaders and team members.
  • Implement real, needed change – and quit “thinking” and “talking” about change (but never really get change started).
  • Become a change champion while creating a lasting legacy as a business leader.
  • Build a team of good people doing good work in a good company.

  • What’s more, Good Comes First shows you where potential barriers to success hide—and how to push through them—and illuminates the moments when you’ll feel the most satisfaction and gain the most traction.

    After reading this book, you will see that when done right, change is not only possible—it’s practical, powerful, and profitable. And you will realize that you are the right person, at the right time, to make that change happen.

    Product Details

    ISBN-13: 9781953295651
    Publisher: BenBella Books, Inc.
    Publication date: 09/28/2021
    Pages: 304
    Sales rank: 1,052,816
    Product dimensions: 6.20(w) x 8.80(h) x 1.00(d)

    About the Author

    Chris Edmonds is a speaker, author, and executive consultant who helps senior leaders create and sustain purposeful, positive, productive work cultures. After leading successful teams for 15 years, Chris started his company, The Purposeful Culture Group, in 1990. Chris also served for 24 years as a senior consultant with The Ken Blanchard Companies. Chris has worked with companies such as V Starr Interiors, EleVen by Venus Williams, World Kitchen, and Five Below. He is the author of The Culture Engine, plus five other books. Included in Inc. Magazine’s “100 Top Leadership Speakers,” Chris is an in-demand presenter and was a featured speaker at South by Southwest.

    Mark S. Babbitt is president of WorqIQ, a consultancy focused on transforming leadership, building “good comes first” company cultures, and developing Workplace Intelligence (WQ). Mark is also the Founder and CEO of YouTern, a community focused on helping young careerists get their first or next internship or job. He has worked with companies from IBM to faith-based nonprofits and Silicon Valley start-ups. Mark is co-author of A World Gone Social: How Companies Must Adapt to Survive. In addition, he has contributed to Harvard Business Review, Entrepreneur, Forbes, and many other publications. Like Chris, Mark is an in-demand speaker and was named a “Top 100 Leadership Speaker” by Inc. magazine.

    Table of Contents

    Foreword Venus Williams xv

    Introduction: Welcome to a Working World Where Good Comes First 1

    How This Book is Organized 3

    Section I Purpose and Principles: Why a Good Comes First Culture?

    Chapter 1 Good Comes First: A Business Imperative in the Future of Work 7

    A Spark of Resistance-a Ray of Hope 8

    Respect AND Results 12

    The Challenge Ahead 15

    Good Comes First: The End Game 18

    First: We Must Understand Our Servant Purpose… Our "Why" 19

    There's NOT an App for That 20

    The Role of Leaders in a Good Comes First Culture 23

    Chapter 2 Defining the "Good" in "Good Comes First" 25

    Our Definition of Good in "Good Comes First" 27

    Foundational Principle and Cornerstones: Culture Building Blocks of Good Comes First 30

    Our Foundational Principle: Equally Value Respect and Results 32

    Culture Cornerstone 1: Live Our Servant Purpose 35

    Culture Cornerstone 2: Lean on Trust, Validation, and Growth 37

    Culture Cornerstone 3: Measure Impact of Behaviors on Culture 38

    Culture Cornerstone 4: Use Our Voice for Good 40

    Lessons Learned from Our Two Example Companies 42

    Chapter 3 The Good: Companies Setting the Good Comes First Standard 45

    Good Comes First Companies 46

    What Does "Good" Mean to You? To Employees? 56

    Good Comes First Communications: Building Trust One Human at a Time 57

    Good-ness is Personal 60

    Personal Challenge 1: Change 60

    Personal Challenge 2: Growth 61

    Chapter 4 The Bad and the Ugly: Organizations That Failed to Put Good First 65

    The Difference Between Bad and Ugly 66

    Not-So-Good Company Cultures 68

    A Closer Look at Why 78

    A Typical Boardroom 79

    Measuring Results AND Respect 80

    Chapter 5 The Business Case for Good Comes First 83

    What Is Culture Worth? 84

    A Reason to Take the Hill 85

    Real Companies-Real Results 87

    What Can We Learn from These Client Success Stories? 90

    Beyond Results: Competitive Advantages of a Good Comes First Culture 97

    Section II Tactical & Practical: How to Define, Align, and Refine Your Culture

    Chapter 6 The Organizational Constitution: An Origin Story 101

    Every Superhero Has an Origin Story 102

    What Is an Organizational Constitution (And Why Do You Need One)? 104

    The Bedrock of the Organizational Constitution: The Performance-Values Matrix 106

    The Ultimate Goal of an Organizational Constitution 113

    Chapter 7 The Organizational Constitution: Servant Purpose 115

    Crafting an Effective Servant Purpose Statement 117

    Communicating Your Company's Servant Purpose 121

    Your Servant Purpose Versus Your "Actual" Purpose 123

    Great Purpose Inspires Humans 124

    What Cpmpany Is Your Servant Purpose Role Model? 126

    Crafting a Compelling, Inspiring Purpose Statement 128

    Chapter 8 The Organizational Constitution: Values, Definitions, and Behaviors 133

    Why Must Values Be Defined in Behavioral Terms? 134

    Deciding Which Values You Will Define in Behavioral Terms 136

    Values: Definition, Behaviors, and the Power of "Do" Messages 139

    Step-by-Step: How to Define Values in Behavioral Terms 141

    Your Company's Values and Behaviors 145

    Define Your Chosen Values 147

    A Few More Examples of Desired Values 148

    Including Observable and Measurable Behaviors 149

    Your Values, Definitions, and Behaviors 152

    Chapter 9 The Organizational Constitution: Strategies and Goals 155

    More Parallels Between Respect and Results 157

    Creating Your Strategic Plan and Setting Goals 158

    A Second Chance at Getting It Right the First Time 160

    How Long? And How Long? 161

    The Fluid Nature of Strategy and Goals 162

    Who, What, When, and Where 163

    Strategic Imperatives: What Matters Most 165

    Plan the Work, Work the Plan 166

    Setting Quantifiable Goals 168

    Presenting Your Strategies and Goals 170

    Next Steps 171

    Chapter 10 Living Your Constitution: Aligning to Desired Values and Behaviors 173

    Performance Accountability 175

    The Good Comes First Accountability Model 176

    The Five Practices of the GCF Accountability Model 179

    Chapter 11 Measuring and Refining Your Good Comes First Work Culture 191

    Good Comes First Data Collection Methodology 193

    Values and Behaviors Survey 193

    Executive Team Effectiveness Survey 198

    Workplace Intelligence (WQ) Assessment 200

    The Five Components of Workplace Intelligence (WQ) 202

    Why WQ Is Critical to a Good Comes First Culture 205

    Examples of the Workplace Intelligence (WQ) Assessment 207

    Other Methods of Data Collection 212

    Section III Actionable Inspiration: Building Your Culture from the Inside Out

    Chapter 12 Leadership Qualities Within a Good Comes First Culture 217

    The Challenges Ahead 217

    Three Types of Leaders (Which Are You?) 220

    Desired Leadership Traits of Change Champions 225

    Strong Leader Versus Strong Leadership Team 228

    Your Leadership Legacy 229

    Chapter 13 Team Building and Hiring While Putting Good First 233

    Team Building in a Good Comes First Company 234

    Contagious Pockets of Excellence 236

    Team-to-Team Collaboration: Bringing Back Barn Raising 239

    Hiring for a Good Comes First Company Culture 241

    A Hiring Bonus: Employee Referrals 243

    Chapter 14 Rebooting Your Current Company Culture Toward Good Comes First 245

    Organizational Readiness 246

    The True Starting Point: You 247

    Build the Case 248

    Engage Your Leadership Team 249

    What to Expect from Team Leaders and Team Members 252

    Good Comes First Lessons Learned 254

    Conclusion: Next Steps for Good Comes First Leaders and Teams 259

    The Good Comes First Do List 260

    Acknowledgments 263

    Notes 265

    Index 271

    About the Authors 283

    What People are Saying About This

    From the Publisher

    “By making certain that good comes first—that team members are treated with respect in every interaction and validated for their contributions—every business can retain and attract talented, engaged employees. Good Comes First guides business leaders to create an uncompromising work culture that works for all businesses, big and small.”
    Nicole Leinbach, Founder & Publisher, Retail Minded

    “Like many business leaders, those in healthcare are now tasked with driving that change while defining a 'new normal' that better meets our team members’ mental, emotional, and physical needs. For those forward-thinking leaders, this must-read book is beyond timely.”
    Susan Thorn, Director, Clinic Operations & Employee Health Services, Community Medical Centers

    “A foundational element of the WD-40 Company tribal culture was formalizing our values. The most impactful element, though, is holding everyone accountable for modeling our values and behaviors daily. Good Comes First maps out a path to success for both elements.”
    Garry Ridge, Chairman & CEO, WD-40 Company

    Good Comes First is an essential tool for building organizations where trust and transparency are constant and teamwork and respect contagious . . . If you lead a team, read this book!”
    Kris Malkoski, CEO, Home Solutions, Newell Brands

    “Culture has almost become a buzzword. And yet, for business leaders, Chris and Mark have created a practical field guide for creating a meaningful, deeply human company culture. Good Comes First is a must-read!”
    Tamara McCleary, CEO, Thulium

    Good Comes First outlines detailed steps on how to bring a contagious culture to your company and truly create a differentiating model where respect is valued as high as results.”
    Joel D. Anderson, President/CEO, Five Below, Inc.

    Good Comes First is not just another book about why a healthy, vibrant, productive workplace culture is an essential part of any successful company. Chris Edmonds and Mark Babbitt have combined more than 50 years of experience to show us HOW to do it. They outline the steps required to lay the foundation, explain how to create an effective Organizational Constitution, and show how to build an effective culture from the inside out.”
    Jesse Lyn Stoner, Founder, Seapoint Center & Member, Board of Directors, Berrett-Koehler Publishers

    “Perhaps the biggest and best part of the book is when it talks about the starting point on creating a great culture. The starting point is you. This is gold. Leaders have to look within and live, breath and sleep the culture they want to create. Good Comes First nails it.”
    Jeffrey Moore, Former Director of Staffing, Google

    “This is not just a feel-good, inspirational business book (although it is that too!), it reads as a playbook for how to create architect a culture that creates the conditions for meaningful work, sustained motivation, and performance. These practices are needed now more than ever. Read and apply!”
    Zach Mercurio, Author of The Invisible Leader

    “What excites me most about Good Comes First is that I now understand that company culture can be, and should be, intentionally crafted. It does not need to be overly organic or accidental. We can design an ideal culture for our employees, customers, and stakeholders that also emphasizes the strategic goals of my start-up. For any business owner or start-up founder, Good Comes First is a must-read!”
    Julia Gabor, Founder, kid-grit

    “Clear, no-nonsense, and coming from a place of both accountability and heart . . .  Super, super actionable.”
    Elisa Camahort Page, Former Co-Founder and COO, Blogher

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