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My friend, Howard Bloom, tells a story about Japanese macaques (monkeys). He says that “an innovative leader can spread new practices through the group in hours. But a conservative monkey leader, a dictatorial defender of the traditions he’s inherited or created, can force the group reject opportunities that glitter with potential.”

Howard continues, “In Takasakiyama, Japan, another macaque leader, Jupiter, laid down a cultural pattern that encouraged bullying, beating, and humiliating females. But when Jupiter grew old and died, the new leader–Titan–abolished this extreme emphasis on anti-female aggression. He also shifter the times, destinations, and other ways of wandering–the ‘pattern of nomadism’–of the group and even change the time of day the group ate.”

This story is interesting–and safer–when it’s a story about monkeys. But experts in organizational culture don’t see human behavior as any different.


Leaders teach values.

If the leader believes that integrity and honesty is the foundation of the organization, the agreements they make with their external and internal stakeholders, that is what the organization will value–as long as the leader leads by example and protects the culture.

But the opposite is also true. If the leader doesn’t believe that integrity is fundamental, neither will those he leads. He teaches by his example.

If the leader believes in respecting the individual, treating people with care and compassion, even under the most trying circumstances, that is how the organization will treat people. But this value will only be true if it is practiced inside the organization.

People who aren’t treated with respect, care, and compassion won’t treat others that way. They’ll live the value as it is practiced inside.


It’s the leaders job to create and protect the culture, and the culture is, in part, made up of a collection of values, beliefs, and behaviors.

You’re people will be what you are, not what you profess to be. You cast a long shadow. It’s your job to teach values, by your actions, your deeds, and your words. It’s also your job to teach by rooting out beliefs, behaviors, and actions that go against the values you teach.


Post by Anthony Iannarino on August 3, 2014

Written and edited by human brains and human hands.

Anthony Iannarino

Anthony Iannarino is an American writer. He has published daily at thesalesblog.com for more than 14 years, amassing over 5,300 articles and making this platform a destination for salespeople and sales leaders. Anthony is also the author of four best-selling books documenting modern sales methodologies and a fifth book for sales leaders seeking revenue growth. His latest book for an even wider audience is titled, The Negativity Fast: Proven Techniques to Increase Positivity, Reduce Fear, and Boost Success.

Anthony speaks to sales organizations worldwide, delivering cutting-edge sales strategies and tactics that work in this ever-evolving B2B landscape. He also provides workshops and seminars. You can reach Anthony at thesalesblog.com or email Beth@b2bsalescoach.com.

Connect with Anthony on LinkedIn, X or Youtube. You can email Anthony at iannarino@gmail.com

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