While the Code of Hammurabi may translate as authoritarian by today's standards, Kador shows how the Babylonian king's concern for welfare and consequences protected his people from selfish business practices. Kador asserts that modern leaders can learn from Hammurabi’s "struggle to regulate accountability, align incentives, manage risk, and communicate standards."
Buchanan examines the relationship between luck, chance, and hard work in her discussion of the book How Luck Happens: Using the Science of Luck to Transform Work, Love, and Life: "Think of talent and hard work as the cherries you can control, setting yourself up to benefit from opportunities when they materialize, either randomly or as the result of events you set in motion in the past, perhaps without realizing it."
Chism defines what she believes to be the two forces that shape conversations among leaders and employees: intention and alignment. Chism explains, "Intention is a powerful force that affects the outcome, and alignment tells you when you are on-base or off-base." She offers professional examples on how to better align with and practice these forces.
Leaders' word choice is analogous to composing leadership music, says Rockwell. He recommends assuming a positive, solution-centered leadership position and not complaining when things go wrong: "People determine if you are positive or negative, backward-looking or forward-focused, follower or leader, weak or powerful by the language you use."
If we know that workplace culture matters, why do so many organizations continue to struggle with it? Todd Davis, author of Get Better: Fifteen Proven Practices to Build Effective Relationships at Work, speaks to Knowledge@Wharton about the lessons learned from his more than 30 years in human resources and talent development. Davis says building culture boils down to improving relationships.