5 ways to kill your culture

Beware of stoking internal competition, micromanagement and the unreasonable pursuit of perfection.

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Every leader wants a positive, magnetic corporate culture, but many don’t know the first thing about how to create—and sustain—meaningful cultural change.

You can start by avoiding these dangerous corporate culture landmines:

Internal competition

Inside competitive work cultures, employees are often expected to operate in a “win/lose” framework, where they’re encouraged to outperform peers. What begins with a healthy race often devolves into unproductive, dog-eat-dog workplace behavior.

“Winning” is a powerful motivator. However, when the need to win overrides teamwork, empathy and unity, you create a cauldron of stress, bitterness and disjointed individual agendas. A hyper-competitive pursuit of results above all else can erode relationships, employee well-being, trust and safety.

Pitting employees against each other—and creating internal struggles for power, control, rewards, promotions and resources—is an easy way to destroy engagement and create a toxic culture.


No one likes working under a microscope.

A culture rife with micromanagement creates a climate of fear and mistrust, and it screams to employees that you don’t trust them. Workers who feel overly scrutinized will quickly disengage, lose motivation and burn out.

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