During a session in France a participant asked his colleagues, “Did anyone notice the type of conversation we had last night? We had a few beers and after that, we discussed what we like about our company.” He smiled. “This is unusual. After a few beers people speak the truth – and that’s when the criticism of the company begins.”

Here’s the elephant in the office: Most companies approach their culture as if it’s an adhesive; they only talk about teamwork when they don’t have it. Wishing or demanding that people work together is not effective. In such cases, pizza and holiday parties turn into additional opportunities for people to b*#&% and moan.

What do your teammates say about the company after they’ve had a beer?


“In vino veritas” is Latin for “after wine comes the truth.” The truth is a powerful; what people think determines their attitudes. And attitudes create behaviors. And behaviors generate results.

What’s the truth about your organization? And do those around you need vino to share the truth?

Italy is always producing wine; efforts to build your culture, therefore, can never cease. People will always tell the truth; and we must always use that truth to make us stronger.

Here’s an amazing, nearly fail-proof strategy to creating an environment where people tell the truth: begin by telling the truth yourself. Have a conversation about perceptions and opinions. Talk about the “tough stuff” as though you’re an observer. And then take an important next step by asking, “How will we make this better?”

Once these conversations become commonplace you can raise a glass and make a toast. And then breathe easy knowing the conversation won’t change after people have had a drink or two.

Where will you lead – where will you stomp elephants – today?

Activate Your Greatness.

Activate Your Greatness.

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