On my way home from work one day, I visited a lemonade stand operated by two young sisters. From the moment I got close enough to notice the pitcher had no ice, the lack of smiles on their faces were clear to see. The lemonade promised to be warm, but the servers were nothing but chilly toward one another. "How's business, ladies?" I asked.
"I'm mad at her," said the older sister.
"She's not nice to me," the younger countered.
So rather than a prolonged and awkward visit, I smiled and walked home. Culture means everything.
Question: What comes first, the right people for a great culture—or a great culture that attracts the right people?
Correct answer: Both. However, sometimes one attracts the other.
For example, consider interviews. Candidates frequently, and wisely, ask: "What's it like to work here?" or, "How would you describe your work environment?" That wonderful, energetic person has just lobbed a heavy challenge over the net to you—because you must now describe your culture ...1