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Creating Culture 101—the 11 ways Culture Transforms

NBC Basketball Advisor and Director Coach RJay Barsh gives the 11 ways culture shapes our teams, organizations and families. If you want to create a dynasty basketball team or a thriving business, a great culture is a must have. 

Culture Shapes Expectations

In any organization we have set expectations, along with dreams and goals, we must accomplish to be productive. The people in the room determine the level of greatness -if our room is full of only 9-5 workers with no grind mentality then the expectations will hit a ceiling and not shatter it. To shatter the proverbial ceiling, we must create an environment where no ceiling exists and hard work is rewarded.

Culture Shapes Discipline 

How do you reprimand and command great work- great organizations and teams utilize an internal compass of excellence that requires discipline to be successful. As leaders, do we have an organization that head hunts failures or head hunts wins— the phrase to always remember is “what we appreciate —APPRECIATES.” Set standards and reward those that meet and exceed them and watch your cultures’ level of discipline skyrocket.


Culture Shapes Family

Most companies will say “we are a family, we live to support each-other” but then within the leadership dynamic we treat our employees as subordinates and not brothers and sisters. If family is what we want, we must understand the differences we have and celebrate them on a daily basis.


Culture Shapes the Failure Narratives

When we strive for Greatness we understand that nothing is accomplished without defining the path of failure. If our organization treats failure as a dead-end and not a step to re-evaluate and engage another process we then limit the level of innovation because failure becomes detrimental versus a step in the process.


Culture Shapes Success

What is success? How we view success as leaders is how our companies and teams will see it as well- we as leaders must celebrate the small wins that lead to the massive victories- daily we must head hunt wins and then keep track of them! This way our culture becomes riddled with stories of how we won and how we will continue to WIN.


Culture Shapes the Public Perception

How others see us ultimately determines how they will treat us- as leaders we must remove ourselves from the corporate frame so we can view the unaltered full picture- people approach winners with a different conversation than they do a leader with no identity.


Culture Shapes Upward Mobility

Can I start at step one and finish at step 10, can the janitor work their way from the broom room to the board room- our view of this paradigm will open every member of the organization to the winning game-plan. If I know that I’m heard and respected as an employee, I’ll work harder in return because deep down I know that one day my idea may shift the direction of the company and that’s LEGIT AS EVER!


Culture Shapes the Leadership Dynamic 

Every employee/team member shows up on day one with the residue of the leaderships they have experienced. On day one, we must do a great job of allowing those we lead to adjust to our style and approach while they work through the residue of either the great leaders they’ve had or the toxic ones they experienced. I honestly believe we can execute this by requiring those we hire to promote an attitude of gratitude and appreciation as a leader. It’s pretty tough to change ones attitude but we can increase the skill level- so I’d rather hire a great attitude and average skill than above average skill and terrible attitude. 


Culture Shapes the Idea Matrix 

Can I walk into the office and speak my mind toward a project and it not be laughed at or stolen. Tons of corporate ideas we have seen didn’t actually originate in the bosses office but in the break room when the team was faced with an issue and they found a strategy to address it. As a leader, we must be ok with giving credit to the Idea Maker and also appreciate the process. 

Culture Shapes the Honor Principle
Let’s keep honor simple.

Here are the 5 codes of honor:

  • Honor is the code to unlock trust.
  • Honor is the code to listening and hearing.
  • Honor is only reciprocated when it’s true.
  • Honor isn’t a process, it’s a personality trait.
  • Honor makes difficult moments bearable.

Culture Creates Buy-In
 In every program, business or company there is an over-arching goal that everyone within is desperately striving to attain. Developing the winning edge is built from having all members of the team bought in to the team culture and vision. If you want your team to go ALL-OUT then they must BUY-IN to the vision and culture of the team.


If you believe in grit, mental toughness, gratitude, the power of faith, hope, love and wisdom, then NBC Basketball is the place for you. Founded in 1971 by Coach Fred Crowell, NBC Basketball was built on the idea that talent is grown, attitude is a choice and getting better is a worthy pursuit. Coach RJay is the head coach at Southern University and the director of NBC Camps in Florida and the Boys High School Team Camp in Oregon. He is also the host of the NBC Basketball sponsored podcast  Outside the Arc which you can find on itunes and soundgarden.  NBC Basketball offers leadership training, travel teams, camps, high school team camps, coaching clinics and more.  For more information visit

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