Ten years ago, if you said to me, "Culture is the most important part of a company," I would have laughed you out of the room. I would have suggested a few firings and a dose of foot in ass for anyone who cared to remain with the company. I WAS DEAD WRONG!
Being a male, civil engineer with an MBA in Finance nearly ruined me. Add to that the lasting effects of my mother potty training me at gunpoint, which created a "small" struggle with organization and there you have it, I was ruined. The good news is, with a little help from people at my work, I recognized it and did something about it. I read this book, Tribal Leadership.
Here is what is says to me, there are five levels of human behavior (attitude):
Life Stinks - These are people in jail, who will likely never get out. Their life does stink and luckily, we will never hire them.
My Life Stinks - These are the victims of the world. Everyone else has it great, but they don't and it is not their fault. We have hired a few of these, but bot many. They are easily recognized in their language and easy to let go.
I'm Great - These people are dangerous. They slip into the organization, because they have a great resume and a pile of skills we think we really need. Once inside, they are disruptive and do nothing more than belittle everyone else. The only hope is that they too recognize it and move to level 4.
We're Great - This is the sweet spot and where we hope to exist for the majority of the time. People who think like this give credit to others and demand very little from the organization. They see themselves as contributing members to the big picture and are appreciative of their surroundings.
Life's Great - The unicorn (or maybe not). These people live at the top of Maslow's hierarchy, understanding that they can be instrumental to making life great for others. We see this from time to time in people and better yet in the organization as a whole.
If your role in life has you in a leadership position (at home, work or elsewhere, this is a recommended read).