This is from a Pathways to Leadership graduate named Mike: Imagine working next to someone who bathed or showered only once a year. Feel your nose curl? Now, imagine working for an organization that worked to develop its healthy culture only once a year. As my five-year-old daughter says, “PEEEEE-YOOOOOO!”

Hurry! Someone grab the soap.


In such companies the cultural stench is so foul employees are forced to work with one hand- because the other hand is covering their nose. (Is it possible there’s a connection between the 72% employee disengagement rate and an organization’s cultural hygiene practices?) And customers keep their wallets in their pockets as they fight off the stench. (Employees who have to wear oxygen masks to work are unable to devote much attention to quality.)


Mike and his teammates are doing business differently. In his words, because they intentionally use leadership tools, they have developed their “muscle memory to ensure a strong Wellness Culture.” This means they bathe regularly. (Stick with the metaphor, please.) This means their culture is not something that gets attention only during the end-of-the-year awards banquet, the company picnic, or during the holidays.

No. Mike’s culture (he and everyone around him are co-owners) receives attention all the time, in every interaction they have. And their customers can smell the difference.

Are you and your teammates going to take a bath today? What will it look like?

What is the difference between what “might be” and what “can be”?  You decide.

Got a stinky situation at work? Hit the comment tab and send in your dirt. The water’s warm.

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