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Relationships

Culture is inevitable

I’ve been thinking a lot about culture over the past few months.

From joining a larger company culture early on to helping shape it on a smaller scale within my own company and a cappella group, I’ve noticed something that is probably self-evident to most:

Whenever you have two or more people working together, culture is inevitable.

From the tone and topics of conversations to the way in which you make decisions, culture simply happens.

In the same way that indecision is still a decision, not intentionally crafting your culture will still give you a culture, it will just be one in which you won’t have any control.

That is why I’m learning to pay more attention to my actions and how they affect the people around me.

Ultimately, these actions contribute to the collective culture.

Believe it or not, when I respond to a Slack comment with a specific GIF or an emoji, this becomes part of the documented culture.

When I have certain conversations within earshot of others, this becomes part of the undocumented culture.

It’s easy to forget these things when we prioritize our work over the people doing the actual work.

In my mind, mindfulness should be just as important as margins, more urgent than email, and prioritized just like profits.

How are you contributing to your company culture?

Content with being content

I was lucky enough this weekend to grab coffee with a friend who was in town for a wedding.

Whenever we get together, we have great conversation that leads to more questions than answers and enough ideas to fill a notebook.

Our conversation was based around my friend leaving St. Louis and his realizations since then.

He shared how even though he was looking for a professional change, he missed how his days were filled with things and people he cared about.

In other words, he wasn’t content with being content.

This is something a lot of us deal with, especially in our professional lives.

We feel pressure to “do more” and “be better” all while searching for something that fulfills us.

It’s no wonder social media can be a blessing and a curse.

It allows us to share our story and stay connected with the people we care about, but it also sets unrealistic expectations.

Not everyone has to travel the world, vlog every second of their life, or share an endless stream of filtered selfies. We don’t always have to strive for perfection.

In fact, I’m learning that being imperfect is far more interesting.

In a world where anyone can be anything, the people that stand out are one thing above all else - themselves.

Luckily, I have friends who help remind me of this.