• Learn How to Build a Powerful Personal Brand That Will Differentiate You and Allow You To Compete in the Global Marketplace.
  • Find Out About The Company’s Culture Early

    shutterstock_310271879One of the most important jobs of management is to make the organization a decent, enjoyable, productive, and creative place to work – in other words, to foster and nurture a positive corporate culture.

    If your most important work values aren’t shared by a company you’re considering, think twice before signing on. This issue is so important that you shouldn’t rely on the accuracy of what you’re told by the hiring executive or recruiter. You need to speak to your own business contacts, present and past employees, and company vendors and customers. Compare the company’s self-image with its outside reputation. (The latter is often more accurate.) Both you and the company benefit if the cultural fit works.

    · How do the company’s leaders describe the company’s culture (in recruiting materials or the annual report, for example)? How does this compare with the way rank-and-file employees, former employees, competitors, customers, and suppliers describe the culture? (A major difference here may forecast trouble.)

    · Are employees treated like partners, with respect for their individuality, creativity, and personal needs? Or are they treated like interchangeable parts, “troublemakers,” or wayward children?

    · What is the working environment like? What kinds of working spaces do most employees occupy? How great a gap is there between the accommodations of the top executives and those of lower-level employees? How well are shared spaces (meeting rooms, lounges, cafeteria) maintained and supplied?

    · What is the mood of the offices like? Does a visitor notice joking, laughing, music, conversation? Or is the atmosphere tense and hostile?

    · How do the employees dress? How do they decorate their offices, desks, cubicles, and other working areas? Is there an atmosphere of personal expression or one of regimentation and corporate control?

    · How does the company help employees develop professionally? What investments are made in training and education? How are mistakes viewed?

    · How do employees at various levels describe their work and the company’s mission? Do most employees regard their work as “just a job?” Do they view themselves as “changing the world?” Or is the prevailing attitude something in between or altogether different?

    For your own happiness and productivity thoroughly check to see if the company culture and your values are aligned.


    D.A. (Debra) Benton has been helping great individuals and organizations get even better for over 20 years. Just as exceptional athletes rely on excellent coaching to hone their skills, Debra's clients rely on her advice to advance their careers. She focuses on what is truly important to convert what you and your organization want to be from a vision into a reality. TopCEOCoaches.com ranks her in the World's Top 10 CEO Coaches noting she is the top female. And as conference keynote speaker she is routinely rated in the top 2%. Her client list reads like a “Who's Who” of executives in companies ranging from Microsoft, McDonald's, Kraft, American Express, Merrill Lynch, United Airlines, and PricewaterhouseCoopers to the Washington Beltway and U.S.Border Patrol. *She is the author of ten award-winning and best-selling business books including The Virtual Executive and CEO Material. She has written for the Harvard Business Review, Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg Businessweek, and Fast Company. She has been featured in USA Today, Fortune, The New York Times, and Time; she has appeared on Today Show, Good Morning America, CNN, and CBS with Diane Sawyer. To learn more Debra advising leaders, coaching, facilitating a workshop, or speaking: www.debrabenton.com

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