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No. 619 / Real change is cultural change

The longer you live in New York, the more impatient you become. People honk so you honk. They walk around you so you start walking faster. You weren’t always this way, you were affected by rules (spoken and unspoken) around you.

Good attorneys debate. Practicing Mormons don’t have to have a daily conversations about abstaining from alcohol. Great entrepreneurs grow businesses.

Here’s the thing, if you ask these people who are advocates and practitioners of their respective cultures why they do what they do, their response will be something similar to ‘that’s what people like me do.”

“I work long hours because I’m passionate about what we’re building.” “I’m a friendly person because I believe I can help people.” “I’m a great cook because of how I choose to look at the world.” “I’m a writer, so that’s what I do, write.”

Culture is what defines people and organizations. And culture is happening whether you realize it or not. It’s up to you to define what your culture is and what you want it to become. Without that baseline, culture will happen ‘naturally’ (for better or for worse).

If there is a cultural shift that needs to take place, keep in mind that it’s going to get messy. Your intent, now, needs to be to change culture—which has never been easy.

In so doing, you just might be engaging in best work you of your life. There is no rulebook, map, or checklist when it comes to solving interesting problems. There are iterations, trials, and testing.

So speak up. See the world as it is then choose to make a difference.