Desire definitionBuilding a strong company culture is the intention of many.  But few are able to execute on their ideal.  Do you have the two critical traits of leaders that are able to build world class cultures: desire and obsession?

Firstly, desire.

A desire/craving/passion to create a strong company culture is the most important driver of a great culture.  Without a desire that compels the leader/s to do everything within their power to create a great place to work, it's unlikely even a mediocre culture will be built. I know of business owners and entrepreneurs who continually say they want a strong culture, but, they don't want it enough and other priorities continue to get their attention.

Building a strong workplace culture is a long, rewarding and occasionally painful journey.  A desire to continually add and enhance the company culture that cannot be swayed by financial or moral challenges (that will always arise) is an absolute of the building blocks required to create a strong culture.

In The Goldmine Effect, researcher Rasmus Ankersen reported that the secret behind some of the fastest marathon runners, best female tennis players and the world's best emerging golfers was an unyielding desire to be the best in the world.  The same applies to building a world-class company culture.

Are you willing to continuously grow yourself, apply your learnings, ask for help and engage people that have done it before in order to build a world-class culture?


Obsession is defined in the Oxford dictionary as 'the state of being obsessed with someone or something'.  The definition goes on to explain that obsession is 'an idea or thought that continually preoccupies or intrudes on a person's mind'.

To create a company culture that truly is world class, an obsessive approach is required. Zappos has famously said for years that company culture is their No. 1 priority. It would seem they are obsessed in their commitment to maintaining a strong culture.

An obsession with success is a common trait of many entrepreneurs, business owners and high achievers.  But an obsession with creating a world-class culture belongs to only a small subset of entrepreneurial leaders.  In my experience, this obsession with culture is the second necessity in creating a great culture.

Having built a company to become one of Australia's Best Places to Work, I have no doubt that many elements of a strong culture can be systemised and built into the DNA of a business over time.  However, desire and obsession of the leaders are the two drivers that, in my experience, are required to build a strong workplace culture in the first place.

Do you agree or disagree? Please tweet me, @tristanjwhite, or comment on my Facebook page.  I'd love to hear from you :)