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What You Do Is Who You Are: How to Create Your Business Culture

Ben Horowitz
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Culture is how a company makes decisions. It is the set of assumptions employees use to resolve the problems they face every day. So how does that ... Read More
Culture is how a company makes decisions. It is the set of assumptions employees use to resolve the problems they face every day. So how does that culture get created? If culture is not purposeful it will develop accidently, often to the detriment of a company. Horowitz has long been interested in history, and particularly in how people behave differently from expectations, depending on the time and circumstances they are born into. In this vein, Horowitz examines four models of leadership and culture-building and identifies the factors that make some organizations thrive and others become corrupt or fail. These questions include: ? Why has there been only one successful slave revolt in human history? And how did Haiti’s Toussaint Louverture reprogram slave culture to orchestrate it? ? How did the Bushido, the code of the Samurai, enable the warrior class to rule Japan for seven hundred years and shape modern Japanese culture? What set of cultural virtues enabled them to do it? The samurai called their principles “virtues” rather than “values”; virtues are what you do, while values are merely what you believe. As we’ll see, doing is what matters. ? How did Genghis Khan build the world’s largest empire? He was a total outsider, imprisoned as a youngster by his own tiny nomadic tribe. It’s easy to see how that made him want to smash existing hierarchies. But how, exactly, was he able to create an innovative and inclusive meritocracy? Because that enabled him to constantly grow and improve while his foes were standing still. ? How did Shaka Senghor, sentenced to 19 years in a Michigan prison for a murder he did commit, make his prison gang the tightest, most ferocious group in the yardand then transform it into something else entirely? How did culture turn him into a killer? How did he rise to dominate that culture? How did he take a group of outcasts and turn them into a cohesive team? Finally, how did he recognize what he disliked about his culture, and, by changing himself, change the entire prison culture? Companies--just like gangs, armies, and nations--rise or fall because of the daily microbehaviors of the human beings that compose them. Yet figuring out whether the root cause of a company’s success is its culture or some other factor isn’t easy. Most business books don’t look at cultural from a wider, more sociological perspective. And most attempt to dissect successful companies’ cultures after the companies have succeeded. This approach confuses cause and effect. There are plenty of massively successful companies with weak, inconsistent, or even toxic cultures; an amazing product can overcome a miserable environment, at least for a while.(Think: Enron.) Connecting historical lessons to modern case-studies, Horowitz examines how Toussaint Louverture’s cultural techniques were applied or should have been appliedby Reed Hastings at Netflix, Travis Kalanick at Uber, and Hillary Clinton, and how Genghis Khan’s vision of cultural inclusiveness has parallels in the work of Don Thompson, the first AfricanAmerican CEO of McDonalds, and of Maggie Wilderotter, the CEO who led Frontier Communications. In the second half of the book, Horowitz guides readers through understanding their own company’s strategy and build a successful culture. His observations allow readers to become the kind of leader that they themselves would want to follow. The book will take readers on a journey through culture, from ancient to modern. Along the way, answering a question fundamental to any organization: who are we? Who you are is how people talk about you when you’re not around. How do you treat your customers? Are you there for people in a pinch? Can you be trusted? Who you are is not the values you list on the wall. It’s not what you say at an all-hands meeting. It’s not your marketing campaign. It’s not even what you believe. It’s what you do. What you do is who you are. This book aims to help you do the things you need to do so you can be who you want to be. Read Less

Additional Information
  • Contributor(s)Ben Horowitz
  • About the Contributor(s) Ben Horowitz is the cofounder and general partner of Andreessen Horowitz, a Silicon Valley–based venture capital firm that invests in...Ben Horowitz is the cofounder and general partner of Andreessen Horowitz, a Silicon Valley–based venture capital firm that invests in entrepreneurs building the next generation of leading technology companies. The firm's investments include Airbnb, GitHub, Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter. Previously he was cofounder and CEO of Opsware, formerly Loudcloud, which was acquired by Hewlett-Packard for $1.6 billion in 2007. Horowitz writes about his experiences and insights from his career as a computer science student, software engineer, cofounder, CEO, and investor in a blog that is read by nearly ten million people. He has also been featured in the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, the New Yorker, Fortune, the Economist, and Bloomberg Businessweek, among others. Horowitz lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with his wife, Felicia. show more
  • ISBN-139780062871336
  • Publish Date10/29/2019
  • PublisherHarperBusiness
  • Format Hardcover
  • LanguageEnglish
  • Weight (lbs)0.98 lb
  • Case Weight (lbs)31.39 lb
  • Pages288
  • Price $23.99

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