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People Centered and Culture Driven

People Centered and Culture Driven

By General Robert Van Antwerp

11 years ago




What makes a company, organization, or institution great?  What makes your teammates, clients, and everyone who knows you and knows about you to say you are definitely on that list of the “100 Best Companies to Work For?”

The answer to both questions is simple to say but challenging to be: You need to be people centered and culture driven by a great culture.

My mission in life is to “Ignite a Passion for Leadership Growth in Leaders of Leaders.”  I love that I “get to” (not “have to”) coach my Flippen Group teammates and external clients on the art of leadership and how to develop as a leader and develop others.  But even more, I love the people I “get to” do it with.  I love the people and I love the culture!

The great companies are focused and constantly  increasing their strength by building muscle in three areas in order of priority:

  1. People Strength within your organization;
  2. Impact Strength with those the clients or customers you serve; and
  3. Financial Strength.

Where are you building muscle?

What does it mean to be people centered?  If you think about it like focusing a high powered camera with an adjustable lens you will get it about right.  You point the lens so your people are in the center and then you turn it until you are focused on them—hiring those with passion and skill and the right experience for their position; developing them so they can move up and compete in the future; empowering them and not micro-managing them; and rewarding them positionally and financially.  If you focus on your people first, your company’s picture (and future) will be bright and clear.

What, then, does it mean to be culture driven by a great culture?  An organization’s culture is a combination of things and may be a little hard to describe, but when you have a great culture everyone knows it!  When asked what makes the culture great, they will tell you about a focus on teammates first (people centered), or a set of shared attitudes, or about shared values, or about shared best practices, or about behaviors that govern how they treat each other, or about the satisfaction they get from the company’s purpose, or the impact the company has on others.  Employees from companies with a poor culture will tell you about dishonesty, or about too little focus on people and too much on making money, or about abuses by leadership, or about gossip at the water cooler, or about high turnover of great people, or about bad treatment, or toleration of bad behavior, or…the list goes on!  Truth is, all organizations are culture driven, thus the importance of being culture driven by a great culture.  The culture determines your focus, your priorities, your actions, and your behavior.  (I’ll dedicate a future blog to how to change a bad culture or improve a good one, because you can change your culture!)

The Flippen Group does work in India helping grow leaders—faculty, administrators, and students—and giving them transformational skills and tools.  Impact Strength.  Our leadership took the proceeds from that training and turned right around and donated it to orphans in India.  Now that is using your financial strength for a great purpose.  Who wouldn’t love to work in a company with that culture!


General Robert Van Antwerp

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