Thankful for a Culture of Appreciation

appreciationPost written by Mic Johnson

I was cleaning out some boxes recently and came across a card that Jason gave me (along with my year-end bonus) on Friday, December 13, 2013.

I read the card and it made me smile. It was a great little pick-me-up to start my day.

I took a picture of the card and sent it to Jason and said “Look what I came across this morning. I appreciate you too, brother.”

Take a look at what he wrote.

This experience got me thinking about something that has been woven into the fabric of the Blue Gurus company culture from the beginning.


Over the years, Jason and I have done, and said, countless things showing our appreciation for one another (and our clients).

It’s something we take great pride in and do our very best to be intentional and thoughtful about it.

Sometimes it’s an email saying “Love ya, brother. Thanks for being you.”

Sometimes it’s a quick text congratulating one another on a new client.

Sometimes it’s a phone call patting each other on the back for how we were able to help a client.

Sometimes we get together over lunch and tell each other in person as we catch up on business and life.

Not only is the culture of appreciation built into the fabric of the DNA of me, Jason and Blue Gurus, but I would argue it should be built into the fabric of EVERY company.

Who doesn’t like to be told they’re appreciated?

You can’t ever really say it enough.

People need to be reminded that they matter, that their opinions are valued, that their contributions are appreciated.

I’m very thankful and proud of the fact that we’ve had this type of relationship and culture from the start.

And we’re a two-person company.

If we can do it, every company can.

Thanks for taking the time to read this post. I APPRECIATE IT.

What do you do to show appreciation for those you work with? What kind of appreciation initiatives does your company do? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Culture is Breakfast if You Want a Healthy Company

Author: Mic Johnson, talking about company culture. 

Culture eats strategy for lunch” is a well-known saying that’s been attributed to management consultant Peter Drucker.

One morning I found myself thinking about that statement and I had an epiphany of my own (I’ve been recording these moments for years and affectionately call them #micnuggets). Moments later, I shared the following on Facebook and Linkedin:

Company culture is breakfast.

Strategy is lunch.

Execution is dinner.

Success is dessert.

And none of it happens consistently if you skip breakfast.


Shortly thereafter my friend David Pietrzak, Vice President, Supply Chain & Vendor Management, with National Seating & Mobility, said:

“Had to share this one internally and up the ladder. We have had a lot of conversations about how culture beats everything. Thanks.”

Here’s what happened next:

Thanks for sharing, David. You’re awesome.

I thought how awesome it was that David took the time to share his thoughts with me. Even more awesome is how people in his company routinely talk about the importance of their organization’s culture.

Company Culture Is Breakfast

I knew I wanted to write about it.

I added the #micnugget to the “Blog Ideas” list I keep on my Google Calendar and now here I am writing about it.

By the way, this is a perfect example of how I’ve trained myself to “Think Like a Blogger“. When you think of a blog topic, write it down.

I started to reflect on my own company culture experiences.

I started to think about the company cultures I’ve been involved in throughout my career, both as an employee and as a consultant with Blue Gurus. I’ve worked in companies of all sizes and have had my own office, sat in cubicle farms and worked virtually.

I’ve always believed that a great company starts every morning with a great company culture as it’s foundation. It takes hard work and a daily commitment from leadership and staff to make it happen.

Company Culture is cool again.

Talk about company culture virtually disappeared during the recession. But now it’s cool again. We’re seeing a lot more stories about it and organizations have made it a focus again. This is happening not only because the economy is doing better and the competition for talent is fierce, but also because the largest generation of people in the workforce are Millennials.

Millennials (who saw their parents suffer in poor company cultures) care deeply about company culture and won’t stay long at a company whose culture sucks. I’m a Gen X’er, but I’ve been preaching about company culture for virtually my entire career. Unfortunately I worked at several companies who didn’t listen and Gen X was too small to move the needle (fortunately, it didn’t stop me from moving).

Thankfully, Millennials are forcing the needle to move quickly, and the smartest companies are doing something about it.

Tell me what you think.

I want to know what you think. Take another minute or two to share your thoughts (leave a comment, email me, etc.) and experiences around company culture. Do you agree with my #micnugget? What would you add? What would you change?

As always, thanks for taking the time to read this post.

And, remember….don’t skip breakfast.