You will live in the house you build

You are building a house. Someday, you’ll have to live in it.

This week I met with a few start-up leaders. They have a vision of the company they want to build, and almost immediately are tempted to violate the values of their own company.
*Answering emails late at night in efforts to demonstrate availability.
*Cheating their health and their family.
*Saying they want to be generous, but pinching clients and contractors out of fear.

I encouraged them: you are building your culture with every decision. Someday you’ll have to live in that culture.
*When you teach your clients you are always available, they expect it, and you’ll resent it.
*Training your team that time-off is for wimps will create a culture of judgment.
*Generosity doesn’t come when you have a lot, it comes with practice.

Don’t build a culture now that you’ll hate later.

In fact, with all the attention on your product, strategy, or messaging – the culture you’re developing will be what you love or hate most about where you work.

How you build it is as important as what you’re building.

Unfortunately, leaders everywhere sacrifice what matters most. They say,  “it’s just a season.” It is. It’s a season of planting. And sooner-than-you-think, you will get to live in the world (healthy or not) you built.

So, build today knowing you’ll have to live in it tomorrow.

A few weeks ago a friend recommended the book Chop Wood Carry Water. I read it, and recommend it. Thanks @joshuamedcalf for the insight about the house we’re all building.

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