The Most Important Part of Corporate Culture? Walking the Walk!

Remember – culture is not what you say, it’s what you do.

Woody Allen once said that 80% of success is showing up.  And that certainly is consistent with the advice I’ve received from dozens of experienced podcasters, all of whom told me the most important thing in making a podcast successful was consistency.

That’s why I’m especially excited that I’ve just posted episode three of the That Will Never Work podcast. I guess you can say that when it comes to consistency . . . I’m crushing it!

I’ve been really looking forward to sharing this episode with you since it addresses one of my favorite subjects: work/life balance.  It’s a topic that everyone talks about superficially, but rarely goes deep, or digs into the real-life struggles and trade-offs needed to pull it off.  It’s hard enough making a startup successful – it’s especially challenging doing so without sacrificing your family, friends, hobbies, marriage, etc.

What makes work/life balance particularly interesting as a business leader, is that how you manage this in your own life pays dividends well beyond your personal fulfillment; it serves a cultural purpose.  Remember – culture is not what you say, it’s what you do.  So if you truly want your team to have balance in their own lives, you have to model that behavior yourself. With company culture, nothing is more powerful than founders who actually walk the walk.

In episode three, I’m speaking with Paul, who is on the verge of breaking ground on a 66,000 square foot indoor adventure park in Texas.  He knows that once the facility opens (and right now his plans call for it to be running and occupied 18 hours a day) that he’ll be torn between the requirements of being on-call and available for the business, and the desire to stay present and available to his wife and three children.

It’s a great discussion, in which I share with Paul my Tuesday date night discipline, which besides allowing me to maintain my relationship with my wife during the most intense periods of growth and pressure at Netflix, also ended up being a core pillar in the Freedom and Responsibility culture that was developing at Netflix.

I also tell Paul how I came up with one of my most important maxims: “Never Run for an Airplane”, and why this lesson can not only can be applied in hundreds of diverse business situations, but why it is also the key to maintaining a healthy work/life balance.  (In fact, it’s such an important lesson, that I’ve put together a full blog post on it – it will be released shortly).

I think that my discussion with Paul is interesting explicitly because it’s not about fundraising, validation hacking, or go-to-market strategies (which get plenty of airtime here and in other places).  Instead, it’s worth listening to because it’s a subject so rarely talked about but so critical to hear, particularly if you (or someone you know) feel like they are being consumed by their business, or feel that success as an entrepreneur means turning your back on the other things that make life so meaningful.

I hope you have a listen and I hope you enjoy. But remember, I’m all about consistency.  There are a lot of other great episodes coming up and I can’t wait for you to hear them all.

You can listen to my conversation with Paul here.

Thanks for everything, and I’ll talk to you again soon!

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