When I was a teenager my parents told me to be careful about the character of my circle of friends. Positive friends make good friends and will likely improve your quality of life and decision-making. Negative friends, on the other hand, will have the opposite effect. Before you know it, toxic friends will craftily lead you to make poor decisions, ultimately directing you to a bad place in life.
You are eventually the product of your environment. That’s why I highly recommend you surround yourself with good, smart and honorable people.
When I was on my high school tennis team (a few decades ago), our coach taught us to play matches with people better than us. Playing tennis with better talent challenged me but increased my level of performance.
The same principle applies to the organizations where we work. A positive company culture is going to challenge you, increase your performance, help you to be a better person, improve your outlook on life and allow your personal life to be much more enjoyable.
On the other hand, if you accept a position in a toxic company culture, your life will not be as fulfilling or rewarding, even if you are working in your dream job. I have known people who resigned from dream jobs inside a toxic culture simply to work in a positive company culture.
When you leave the office at night, that culture follows you to the parking lot and gets in your car, bus or subway. A toxic culture walks with you into your house at night, takes a seat in your favorite chair and impacts your quality of life away from the office. A positive company culture makes life much more enjoyable at home, allowing you to be mentally present at home with your loved ones. Why? You are not worrying about the toxic drama that could happen the next day starting at 9:00 am.
We are seeing a trend of company leaders sincerely desiring to create great workplaces built on trust, respect and civility. I foresee a future where companies will work to become “certified great places to work.”
If you are working in a positive company culture, you are very fortunate. If not, for the health of you and your family, you should seriously consider finding another environment to marinate in from 9 to 5.
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