This post was originally published here by GQ Australia. 

Last year, The Entourage was named the fourth Best Place to Work in Australia. Here, Founder & CEO, Jack Delosa, reflects on his unique and unconventional principles to building a world-class culture.

Contrary to conventional thinking, workplace culture is not about free lunches, bicycles and ‘casual Friday’.

These are gimmicks that often serve only to detract from the true essence of an organisation. Culture goes far beyond the eye candy the media hold up as ‘great culture’. Don’t be fooled. Go deeper.

Culture is about uniting around a purpose. It is about a group of people collectively sharing and working towards a vision. It is about creating an environment that inspires and enables people to do their life’s best work.

It is about purposefully creating an environment with teams of people who understand the importance of what’s being done and therefore demand of one another that every single person performs and contributes.

It challenges, demands, invites and enables every member of the team to continuously be growing out of and into the best version of themselves.

The three principles that underpin any great culture are vision, mission and values.

Vision relates to the ultimate purpose being pursued by the organisation, its reason for existence. This purpose is contribution centric, focusing on the contribution the organisation will make to the lives of other people or the planet.

The greats of history each had a vision for the contribution they wanted to make to the people around them, to humanity, or to the world. This vision was focused not on them but on a greater purpose, which would improve the lives of others or the world at large.

The vision that Steve Jobs held for his life was to make a dent in the universe. The vision that Elon Musk, co-founder of PayPal and founder of SolarCity and SpaceX, holds for his life is to enable the future of humanity.

The vision Einstein held for his life was to be able to articulate the universe in one short, elegant formula. The vision Oprah holds for her life is to elevate the consciousness of humanity.

It’s important to note that, while the examples I’ve just given are from people who want to make a global impact, this certainly does not need to influence the scale of your vision. Remember, legacy cares not for scale – it’s not about breadth; it’s about depth.

It’s not about how far-reaching it is, only how deeply your vision resonates with you.

Mission is the measurable and company-orientated target for what you want to become. While the vision focuses on others, the mission is centred on you – the ultimate goal for what you as a company or a team are trying to grow into.

It is through achieving the measurable goal of the mission that we fulfil the purpose found in the vision.

For example, while the vision for my business, The Entourage, is to push civilisation forward by enabling more people to live on purpose, our mission is to become the world’s number one education institution for entrepreneurs and innovators.

Values are the set of standards that govern and guide who we are and who we must be.

Values are a set of principles that guide and govern who we are and who we must be. Great companies have a soul and values bring it to life through language; they articulate our essence in a way that would otherwise remain unspoken.

Like a lot of things in the business world, they have been bastardised by corporate misuse. For example, Enron, whose executives ended up both financially and morally bankrupt (and in prison), had ‘integrity’ listed as one of their top four values.

Values should not be a set of principles that are manufactured to engineer productivity or loyalty but should be – and will only serve when they are felt to be – an authentic representation of the true heartbeat of an organisation.

They are the way by which we bottle the magic that lies within every great company. Values, like brand, should not be about creating a label that sits on the wall but should simply be a confirmation of what is. In this sense, values are not created but rather discovered.

They are the genuine answers to the questions ‘Who are we?’ and ‘Who do we strive to be?’

Great culture is not about creating a list of values; it is about the alignment to those values and how well an organisation lives them.

Get an insight into The Entourage’s unique culture here:

Culture goes far beyond the eye candy that the media often hold up as great culture. Don’t be fooled. Go deeper. Great leadership is about unifying people around a purpose. It’s about creating an environment that inspires people to innovate.

My team at The Entourage work with business owners, and people within larger organisations, to empower them with the leadership skills they need to develop a word class culture and drive innovation. If you’d like to chat to someone from my team today about how can become a great leader, register your interest here

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