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How You Are Killing Your Culture

Building Teams, Grow Your Business

As a business owner, you have a lot on your plate. You probably have a lot of goals, too, or at least I hope that you do. If you don’t, then is this really a business, or is it a hobby?

Now, at Cardone Ventures, we’ve worked with hundreds of business owners from every industry imaginable, and these folks, they have big dreams. They want to 10X their business. They go through the Marketing Essentials and they’re all in on how to leverage marketing strategies to build their brand. They go through Finance Essentials and they’re committed to the awareness and transparency that it takes to create explosive growth in their organization. 

And then we get to People Essentials. The People Essentials workshop, as you might imagine, is my favorite. They’re all vital, of course. You can’t create a great culture without having your financials in order, but People Essentials is special to me. It’s my wheelhouse, and I love delivering this workshop to business owners. 

The funny thing is, it is during the People Essential’s workshop where I see some, but not all, attendees begin to get a little uncomfortable. And this discomfort isn’t limited to workshop attendees that we’ve just met. These are businesses who we’ve worked with for six months, ones that we’ve done deep dives with, they’ve invested six figures in our work and finally have the plan and the training and the support they’ve always wanted for scaling their business. 

Now it’s time for implementation and we’re suddenly hitting a roadblock because tough decisions have to be made. These tough decisions usually center around a person, a person that you might think is absolutely central to your success, but in fact has contributed to creating a toxic cultural environment that, if you do not fix and do not fix right now, well, you’re going to have a hell of a time scaling in the way you want to. 

These people that I’m referring to typically fall into one of three categories. 

The Top Performer

Now I know that some of you might be thinking, “Time out. How is a top performer in my organization a liability?” Allow me to put this into perspective:

When you have a top performer, usually on the sales or client-facing side, who outperforms everybody else, does twice as much production as everyone else, you’re actually cultivating a future disadvantage for your business. Here’s why: Imagine your business without that person. If you remove that performer, then the business is going to crash. The revenue will go down, clients will be upset. It will be a huge state of emergency for the business because you haven’t duplicated them across the rest of your team. They’re a liability.  

The Family Member

This is probably the toughest area of these personnel liabilities for pretty obvious reasons. We see these situations all the time because it’s not uncommon for family members to be a part of a business, but these people become a liability because they can be a real drain on the environment. 

Their perspective tends to be valued over others, even when they aren’t subject matter experts on whatever the situation is. Their status as a family member has elevated their status in the organization, and because the rest of your team, from top to bottom, is holding back in their assessments of important business decisions.

We get that these are very personal matters, but we need to get real about this, too. If you want to 10X your business, then you need to be willing to deal with the liabilities, and this is a real liability 

The Long-Term Employee

Again, you might be wondering, “How is a long-term employee a liability?”

Well, sometimes your longest tenured employees are the ones who become most disconnected from the system that you absolutely have to build if your plan is to scale. 

These people might’ve been vital at the very beginning of your organization, but have they been documenting their processes along the way? Like your top-performing employees, have these folks placed themselves in linchpin positions because they have the historical knowledge in their heads and could kneecap the business if they left? This, my friends, is a liability. 

Have you noticed a pattern of behavior with these employees that are liabilities?

All of these archetypes represent people who play by their own rules in an environment where you absolutely need process and an adherence to process in order to grow, scale, and 10X your business. 

And not only that, but you let them do this. Don’t think that the rest of your company hasn’t noticed. What do you think new employees think when you talk about your culture, your process, and your commitment to growth when they see any one of these three types of employees playing by their own rules? It will only further dilute the type of environment you’re trying to achieve. 

It’s Time to Establish Your Core Values

You need to be real with yourself: Do you want to accomplish your 10 year vision or not? If you don’t, then fine, but you’re just gonna stay where you are.

But if you do, then it’s time to create some commitments — to yourself, to your team, and to your business. It all starts with establishing your Core Values. We’re starting here because you can’t just fire these folks that you’ve allowed to become liabilities. The situation needs to be dealt with appropriately, and every HR-related aspect must be documented. 

At Cardone Ventures, we use our Core Values as guiding principles for everything we do. This is where we can clearly establish expectations with everyone, absolutely everyone, in the organization. 

If the expectations are that your sales team needs to have their sales notes entered into your CRM by end of day Friday, then hold everyone accountable to that expectation. You’re setting expectations. You’re creating boundaries, and boy oh boy, are these people going to test them.

But you’re giving them a chance to help you help them, so that they can remain in the organization as you enter into your 10X phase. They’ll show you if they have the right level of commitment, and if they don’t, then you’ll understand that it’s time to go in different directions. 

This is the hard stuff. But, remember, the hard stuff is what leads to the reward. Don’t lose sight of that. 

At Cardone Ventures, we want to help you 10X your business, and we’ll help you make the tough decisions necessary to reach your goals. To learn more about People Essentials, and more visit to register for our next event!