Culture Quotes by Titans

For organizations, companies or groups to thrive, they need a vision and a strong culture. Here are 100 culture quotes by some of the greatest leaders of recent times.

Amy Jo Martin

Amy Jo Martin

Founder, CEO, Digital Royalty

If we really want to be effective with communication, we have to humanize our brands.

Barbara Landes

Barbara Landes

CFO, PBS

It's important to create a culture of innovation — one that both values and rewards risk.

Bob Parsons

Bob Parsons

Founder, GoDaddy

Anything that is measured and watched, improves.

Brian Kristofek

Brian Kristofek

President and CEO, Upshot

Being a great place to work is the difference between being a good company and a great company.

Courtney Chapman

Courtney Chapman

Product Manager, Rubicon Project

Company Culture is the product of a company’s values, expectations and environment.

Dele Ola

Dele Ola

Author

A rigid structure does not give room for adaptability and change. A rigid structure turns people into slaves of rules, procedures, policies, and practices.

Ev Williams

Ev Williams

Founder, Twitter

When you’re in a small boat, you can see who’s paddling hard and who’s looking around.

Gina Lau

Gina Lau

Culture, & Inclusivity Strategist 

Our secret weapon for building the best culture is open and honest feedback.

Jack Welsh

Jack Welsh

CEO, General Electric 

No company, small or large, can win over the long run without energized employees who believe in the mission and understand how to achieve it.

Johan Huizinga

Johan Huizinga

Dutch historian

If we are to preserve culture we must continue to create it.

Justin McLeod

Justin McLeod

Founder, CEO, Hinge

I look for two things when I hire a new employee: ambition and humility. Without a proven track record of initiative and ambition, it’s likely the person becomes a drain rather than a contributor to the company – even the really smart, talented ones.

Kevin Rose

Kevin Rose

founded Revision3

A team aligned behind a vision will move mountains. Sell them on your roadmap and don’t compromise — care about the details, the fit and finish.

Libby Sartain

Libby Sartain

HR Guru

If a Brand doesn't live on the inside, it can't thrive on the outside.

Malcolm Bradbury

Malcolm Bradbury

Author

Culture is a way of coping with the world by defining it in detail.

Mark Zuckerberg

Mark Zuckerberg

CEO, Facebook

I think as a company, if you can get those two things right — having a clear direction on what you are trying to do and bringing in great people who can execute on the stuff — then you can do pretty well.

Patrick Whitesell

Patrick Whitesell

Chairman of Endeavor

You can have all the right strategies in the world; if you don't have the right culture, you're dead.

Peter F Drucker

Peter F Drucker

Management Guru

The entrepreneur always searches for change, responds to it, and exploits it as an opportunity.

Richard Branson

Richard Branson

Founder, Virgin Group

There’s no magic formula for great company culture. The key is just to treat your staff how you would like to be treated.

Robert Alan

Robert Alan

Film director

Cultural differences should not separate us from each other, but rather cultural diversity brings a collective strength that can benefit all of humanity.

Simon Sinek

Simon Sinek

Corporate strategist

Corporate culture matters. How management chooses to treat its people impacts everything for better or for worse.

Stephen Shapiro

Stephen Shapiro

Author

A culture of innovation can be a company's primary source of competitive advantage and can pay off steadily over the years.

Thomas Wolfe

Thomas Wolfe

Author

Culture is the arts elevated to a set of beliefs.

Vern Dosch

Vern Dosch

author, Wired Differently

I used to believe that culture was ‘soft,’ and had little bearing on our bottom line. What I believe today is that our culture has everything to do with our bottom line, now and into the future.

Andrew Wilkinson

Andrew Wilkinson

Founder, Tiny

Company culture is the continuous pursuit of building the best, most talented, and the happiest team we possibly can.

Bill Gates

Bill Gates

Founder, Microsoft

If your culture doesn't like geeks, you are in real trouble.

Brian Chesky

Brian Chesky

Co-Founder, CEO, Airbnb

A company's culture is the foundation for future innovation. An entrepreneur's job is to build the foundation

Brittany Forsyth

Brittany Forsyth

VP, Human Relations, Shopify

Determine what behaviors and beliefs you value as a company, and have everyone live true to them. These behaviors and beliefs should be so essential to your core, that you don’t even think of it as culture.

David Cummings

David Cummings

Co-Founder, Pardot

Corporate culture is the only sustainable competitive advantage that is completely within the control of the entrepreneur.

Doug Conant

Doug Conant

CEO, Campbell Soup Company 

To win in the marketplace, you must first win in the workplace.

Frances Frei and Anne Morriss

Frances Frei and Anne Morriss

Author

Culture guides discretionary behavior and it picks up where the employee handbook leaves off. Culture tells us how to respond to an unprecedented service request. It tells us whether to risk telling our bosses about our new ideas, and whether to surface or hide problems. Employees make hundreds of decisions on their own everyday, and culture is our guide. Culture tells us what to do when the CEO isn’t in the room, which is of course most of the time.

Howard Schultz

Howard Schultz

CEO, Starbucks

In this ever-changing society, the most powerful and enduring brands are built from the heart. They are real and sustainable. Their foundations are stronger because they are built with the strength of the human spirit, not an ad campaign. The companies that are lasting are those that are authentic.

Jay Samit

Jay Samit

Author, Disrupt you

Most companies overlook the most basic of all training functions: the onboarding of new employees into their corporate culture.

John Mackey

John Mackey

 CEO of Whole Foods Market

If you are lucky enough to be someone’s employer, then you have a moral obligation to make sure people do look forward to coming to work in the morning.

Justin Moore

Justin Moore

Singer

This is not about fuzzy, holding hands around a campfire, kumbaya stuff. That’s not what values and culture and mission is about. This is about building an organization for success. This is about winning. This is about doing the tactical things to make sure your organization and your people are aligned around the same thing.

Kip Tindell

Kip Tindell

CEO of The Container Store

You can build a much more wonderful company on love than you can on fear.

Liz Liu

Liz Liu

Head, Culture, Scopely

We believe in relentlessly refining our skills and knowledge, as a team and as individuals.

Marissa Mayer

Marissa Mayer

President and CEO, Yahoo

It’s about getting the best people, retaining them, nurturing a creative environment & helping to find a way to innovate.

Michael Kouly

Michael Kouly

Author

The culture of a company is the sum of the behaviors of all its people.

Patty McCord

Patty McCord

Chief Talent, ficer, Netflix

Over the years we learned that if we asked people to rely on logic and common sense instead of on formal policies, most of the time we would get better results, and at lower cost.

Peter Schutz

Peter Schutz

CEO of Porsche

The biggest challenge was to restore a dying organization, which was losing money, to growth and profitability. The first steps were not: Cutting costs, developing new products and/or services, inventing clever new marketing concepts, or clever advertising! Instead, the first steps were: Rebuilding a culture where all employees were a family, striving for a shared success! The basis for this success turned out to be winning major races again.

Richard Branson

Richard Branson

Founder, Virgin Group

Create the kind of workplace and company culture that will attract great talent. If you hire brilliant people, they will make work feel more like play.

Ruth Benedict

Ruth Benedict

Anthropologist

The crucial differences which distinguish human societies and human beings are not biological. They are cultural.

Stan Slap

Stan Slap

Corporate strategist

A company can’t buy true emotional commitment from managers no matter how much it’s willing to spend; this is something too valuable to have a price tag. And yet a company can’t afford not to have it.

Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs

Founder, Apple

Great things in business are never done by one person. They're done by a team of people.

Tim Cook

Tim Cook

CEO, Apple

Ultimately, it’s on the company leaders to set the tone, Cook told Fast Company. Not only the CEO, but the leaders across the company. If you select them so carefully that they then hire the right people, it’s a nice self-fulfilling prophecy.

Walter Lippmann

Walter Lippmann

Author

Culture is the name for what people are interested in, their thoughts, their models,

Anne M Mulcahy

Anne M Mulcahy

CEO, Xerox

Employees who believe that management is concerned about them as a whole person — not just an employee — are more productive, more satisfied, more fulfilled. Satisfied employees mean satisfied customers, which leads to profitability.

Biz Stone

Biz Stone

Founder, Twitter

Positive culture comes from being mindful and respecting your co-workers, and being empathetic.

Brian Chesky

Brian Chesky

Co-Founder, CEO, Airbnb

Culture is simply a shared way of doing something with a passion.

Caterina Fake

Caterina Fake

Founder, Flickr

So often people are working hard at the wrong thing. Working on the right thing is probably more important than working hard.

David Mattin

David Mattin

Author, New World

There’s really no such thing as internal culture any more. Your culture is always public, and it’s your most powerful, public-facing asset or liability.

Dr Aubrey Daniels

Dr Aubrey Daniels

Founder, ADI

We can change culture if we change behavior.

Frances Hesselbein

Frances Hesselbein

CEO, the Girl Scouts

Culture does not change because we desire to change it. Culture changes when the organization is transformed; the culture reflects the realities of people working together every day.

Howard Stevenson

Howard Stevenson

 Professor Emeritus at Harvard University

Maintaining an effective culture is so important that it, in fact, trumps even strategy.

Jessica Herrin

Jessica Herrin

Founder, CEO, Stella & Dot

Shaping your culture is more than half done when you hire your team.

Jorge Paulo Lemann

Jorge Paulo Lemann

Founder, Ambev and ‎3G Capital

The greatest asset of a company is its people.

Kamil Toume

Kamil Toume

Author

The real competitive advantage in any business is one word only, which is people.

Larry Page

Larry Page

CEO, Google

Make sure everybody in the company has great opportunities, has a meaningful impact and is contributing to the good of society.

Logan Green

Logan Green

Co-Founder, Lyft

If you want employees to feel appreciated, you need to celebrate their achievements regularly and publicly.

Mark Parker

Mark Parker

CEO, Nike

We have a culture where we are incredibly self critical, we don’t get comfortable with our success.

Mike Zani

Mike Zani

CEO, The Predictive Index

Company culture is what employees live and breathe every day in the workplace.

Paulo Coelho

Paulo Coelho

Author

Culture makes people understand each other better. And if they understand each other better in their soul, it is easier to overcome the economic and political barriers.

Phil Libin

Phil Libin

Co-Founder, former CEO, Evernote

We try to have the kind of a culture that doesn’t value excuses in the sense that when you’re supposed to accomplish something, and you’re at a high level, then your job is to accomplish it, in spite of difficulty. And you’re rewarded for dealing with that.

Richard Perrin

Richard Perrin

KPMG

Organizational culture is the sum of values and rituals which serve as 'glue' to integrate the members of the organization.

Ryan Lilly

Ryan Lilly

Author

Growing a culture requires a good storyteller. Changing a culture requires a persuasive editor.

Stephen R Covey

Stephen R Covey

Corporate strategist

Always treat your employees exactly as you want them to treat your best customers.

Stewart Butterfield

Stewart Butterfield

Founder, Slack

One of our values is that you should be looking out for each other. Everyone should try to make the lives of everyone else who works here a little bit simpler.

Tony Hsieh

Tony Hsieh

CEO, Zappos

If you get the culture right, most of the other stuff will just take care of itself.

Wiley Cerilli

Wiley Cerilli

Founder, former CEO, SinglePlatform

You want to set goals that you can hit, so when you start hitting them, you can celebrate those wins. People start trusting in your way of projecting the business.

Arne Sorenson

Arne Sorenson

CEO, Marriott

A big part of our people-first culture is treating people with respect and transparency.

Blake Mycoskie

Blake Mycoskie

Founder, TOMS Shoes

I think a large part of that is the fact that I’m a large believer in hiring the right people and giving them unbelievable amounts of power and autonomy.

Brian Halligan

Brian Halligan

Founder, HubSpot

The way I think about culture is that modern humans have radically changed the way that they work and the way that they live. Companies need to change the way they manage and lead to match the way that modern humans actually work and live.

Colin Angle

Colin Angle

Founder, iRobot

Culture is the magic start-up ingredient.

David Zinger

David Zinger

consultant, Employee Engagement

Employee engagement is the art and science of engaging people in authentic and recognized connections to strategy, roles, performance, organization, community, relationships, customers, development, energy and happiness to leverage, sustain and transform work into results.

Ed Catmull

Ed Catmull

Founder, Pixar 

A hallmark of a healthy creative culture is that its people feel free to share ideas, opinions, and criticisms. Lack of candour, if unchecked, ultimately leads to dysfunctional environments.

Gary Vaynerchuk

Gary Vaynerchuk

co-founder, the restaurant reservation software company Resy and Empathy Wines

Company culture is the backbone of any successful organization

Jack Ma

Jack Ma

CEO, AliExpress

You need the right people with you, not the best people.

Jim Goodnight

Jim Goodnight

CEO of SAS 

Treat employees like they make a difference, and they will.

Julie Winkle Giulioni

Julie Winkle Giulioni

Author

Authentic engagement is not available upon demand. It’s less like today’s Keurig and more like the old-style percolator: instead of coffee at the push of a button, coffee grounds and water were put together, with heat applied and time allowed for one to permeate the other.

Ken Blanchard and Scott Blanchard

Ken Blanchard and Scott Blanchard

Author

Connect the dots between individual roles and the goals of the organization. When people see that connection, they get a lot of energy out of work. They feel the importance, dignity and meaning in their job.

Larry Senn

Larry Senn

Author

Culture is not an initiative. Culture is the enabler of all initiatives.

Louis V Gerstner, Jr

Louis V Gerstner, Jr

CEO, IBM

Culture isn't just one aspect of the game, it is the game. In the end, an organization is nothing more than the collective capacity of its people to create value.

Mark Parker

Mark Parker

Chairman of Nike

One of my fears is being this big, slow, constipated, bureaucratic company that's happy with its success.

Neil Degrasse Tyson

Neil Degrasse Tyson

Astrophysicist

Once you have an innovation culture, even those who are not scientists or engineers — poets, actors, journalists — they, as communities, embrace the meaning of what it is to be scientifically literate. They embrace the concept of an innovation culture. They vote in ways that promote it. They don't fight science and they don't fight technology.

Peter F Drucker

Peter F Drucker

Management Guru

Culture eats strategy for breakfast

Reid Hoffman

Reid Hoffman

Founder, linkedIN

No matter how brilliant your mind or strategy, if you’re playing a solo game, you’ll always lose out to a team.

Rob Silzer

Rob Silzer

Managing Director of HR Assessment and Development, Inc.

Financial Resources may be the lifeblood of a company, but human resources are the brains.

Sheryl Sandberg

Sheryl Sandberg

COO, Facebook

True leadership stems from individuality that is honestly and sometimes imperfectly expressed… Leaders should strive for authenticity over perfection.

Stephen R Covey

Stephen R Covey

Corporate strategist

Strength lies in differences, not in similarities.

Teddy Roosevelt

Teddy Roosevelt

US Politician

Far and away the best prize that life has to offer is the chance to work hard at work worth doing.

Tracy Streckenbach

Tracy Streckenbach

Culture is about performance and making people feel good about how they contribute to the whole.

William Wang

William Wang

Founder, Vizio

Everyone on the team plays an equal role. My role is to create the wave and everyone on our team keeps the wave going.