What Moldy Oranges Can Teach About Company Culture

mesh bag of moldy orangesI love to eat oranges. And that’s why I never think twice about buying them by the bagful. Just a few weeks ago I picked up another bag of fresh oranges. Upon getting home, I quickly downed a couple and threw the remaining bag into the pantry.

The next morning I kissed my wife goodbye, drove to the airport and left on a four-day business trip. When I returned, I opened the pantry door and was hit with the overwhelming stench of mold. I wondered, “What the heck is moldy? Is it bread? What’s in here?” Picking up the bag of oranges, I noticed that most had turned a sickening shade of green. I quickly closed the bag up and threw them away.

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Your Business May Be Growing Bad Apples

rotten apple on a treeHave you ever picked apples at an apple orchard? Trees burgeoning with plump, perfectly shaped apples, ripe for the picking. Growing up in California, we had such a prolific tree in the backyard of our house. During August and early September, Mom would send me out to pick the apples and gather up the strays lying on the ground. I’d haul them into the house with a bushel basket and Mom would turn most of them into applesauce. The very best specimens were sliced up, covered with dough and baked into Mom’s excellent apple pie.

Most of the apples, hanging enticingly from the branches, looked perfect. Or at least until you grabbed one and studied it more carefully. You know, one side of the apple looked great, but when you turned it over you’d find a wormhole or a deep bruise. Damaged goods.

But how many times have you taken a bite before performing your due diligence—checking it out from every angle?

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Leading Without Passion is like Walking Through a Wasteland

leading-without-passion-is-like-walking-through-a-wasteland-2-1Have you ever met people who exude passion from their pores? These individuals believe in their cause so much they live and breathe it 24 hours a day. In sports, these are the coaches and athletes who lead with enthusiasm, conviction and heart. Think Peyton Manning and Brett Favre. Passion propels them right through obstacles, exhibiting personal sacrifice and sustained discipline to win championships.

In business, these are managers, entrepreneurs, and CEOs who lead with the same vitality; they are tenacious, and manage with passion.

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