Today our expert guest is Bill Higgs, the founder of Mustang Engineering. He is known as the King of Culture, and he is a Forbes contributor and author. He brought his company revenue to over a billion dollars by differentiating their culture from the market.
Bill’s upcoming new book, Culture Code Champions, outlines his process for building a successful company that thrives based on its positive culture.
Bill started being what he calls “other oriented” when he was 9 years old. He noticed that adults often seemed pretty gloomy, so he just started smiling at adults. He figured they couldn’t help but smile back at a smiling kid, and at least then they’d be smiling for 30 seconds out of their day.
He went into the army service, and once he was out, he continued to realize that people just weren’t bonding with each other. He went into the oil industry during the oil boom, but two years after that, the boom turned into a bust. People were being let go constantly, there was no stability, and because of that there was no loyalty between companies and employees.
After receiving a 30% pay cut, Bill got with two friends and said, “We need to start our own firm and change this industry and this culture.” That’s when he started Mustang Engineering.
They sat down together and started a list of all the things they didn’t like in their engineering firm when they were employees. They vowed to look at that list every quarter to decide if they were becoming what they hated.
What steps can one take to start building and scaling their organization’s culture? In his book, Bill outlines 7 steps to rebuilding company culture:
Bill decided to write Culture Code Champions because of his kids. They both ended up starting their own companies, and they came to him and said, “You need to share all these gold nuggets that you taught us growing up with the world.” They had created that same culture in their own companies, and they knew how life-changing it could be.
You can find out more about Culture Code Champions through their podcast, where you learn more about the upcoming book and what Bill is working on.
The Biggest Helping: Today’s Most Important Takeaway
“Be aware of incrementing to a bad place. Every 12 year old never imagines that they’re going to be an out of shape 40-year old or a smoker or a drinker. You increment to these negative places. Organizations increment to a place they don’t want to be, but you have to be conscious of it. Think about what you’re doing in your personal life, in your business life, and make sure that you’re not incrementing to a place that you wouldn’t want to be. Set those goals and then work towards them.”
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