Everybody is talking about inclusion today. It’s mostly a waste of words. Our council to clients is to focus more on exclusion. The hard part about culture is not coming up with the words to put on walls. The hard part is exiting high performers who don’t belong, who are not living your values, and who are unwilling to change. You see, every week I’m included in conversation around this topic with some client of mine. These are all highly functioning teams that look good and are, in fact, good. These are “best places to work” kind of places. And, exclusion is still real, hard, work, where healthy systems make all kinds of compromises that are hard on a culture of real inclusion.

Culture, remember, is built by closing the gap between what is said and what is done – what is talked about vs what is tolerated.

Culture is built by exiting those whose behavior is flat out bad and performance is freakin’ good. Culture is built, not by talk, but by what you tolerate. A culture of inclusion is meaningless unless it is combined with the discipline of excluding those unwilling to live it. Inclusion, like so much of life, is easy to say and hard as hell to live. Exiting the excluders is the discipline of inclusive, elite cultures. Keep working on the exiting, leaders. Exit those unwilling to meet the standard regardless their standing. Real. Hard. Work. What behaviors are you tolerating, leader, from one of your high performers? What’s it going to take to close this integrity gap? Slow down and look in the mirror. Stop looking out the window and comparing your company/team to other teams with lower standards. Look within. Good.

Live hard. Love harder (Thanks, Teeks)…

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