35 Company Culture Quotes to Empower Your Team

35 Company Culture Quotes to Empower Your Team

These 35 company culture quotes from the top minds in business will help you determine what your own existing company culture is and learn how to refine it!

35 Company Culture Quotes to Empower Your Team

Your company culture isn’t something tangible like your financials or org chart—but it’s just as critical to your company’s success (or maybe even more essential). That’s because work culture drives how all of your team members get their work done, collaborate together, and drive business results, and also how they develop and thrive as human beings at work.

Creating a positive culture looks different for every company—it’s a mix of your explicit policies and implicit norms, your work environment and your company values, employee engagement, and having an inspiring purpose for why employees do the work they do every day.

But since company culture can be a little hard to define, that can make it hard to build if you don’t know what you’re aiming towards.

Don't settle for an average company culture when greatness is within your reach. Let Cooleaf guide you on your journey to a thriving, inclusive, and motivated workplace that drives remarkable results.

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These 35 company culture quotes from the top minds in business will help you determine what your own existing company culture is and learn how to refine it to make your company an even better place to work. To make them easier to digest, they’re divided according to the most common values that great corporate cultures have in common.


1. “Great things in business are never done by one person. They're done by a team of people.” – Steve Jobs, former CEO and founder of Apple
2. “Success is best when it’s shared.” – Howard Schultz, former CEO and founder of Starbucks
3. “If everyone is moving forward together, then success takes care of itself.” – Henry Ford, founder of Ford Motors
4. “Companies are communities. There’s a spirit of working together. Communities are not a place where a few people allow themselves to be singled out as solely responsible for success.” – Henry Mintzberg, author and professor of management
5. “The whole point of collaboration is that you give and take from each other, and that’s how you create things that are totally new.” – Virgil Abloh, Founder of Off-White & former creative director of Louis Vuitton Men's
6. "Motivation comes from working on things we care about. It also comes from working with people we care about." – Sheryl Sandberg, former COO of Facebook
group of diverse young professionals sitting at a table in a huddle


7. “A hallmark of a healthy creative culture is that its people feel free to share ideas, opinions, and criticisms. Lack of candor, if unchecked, ultimately leads to dysfunctional environments.” – Ed Catmull, co-founder of Pixar
8. “We have a culture where we are incredibly self critical, we don’t get comfortable with our success.” – Mark Parker, former CEO of Nike
9. “The most vocal challengers to most cultures are the first to be shown the door. It’s in human nature to want to eliminate the most disruptive people. And it’s also human nature to want to bring in more people that fit in well. Repeat these two behaviors over time and culture becomes homogeny, even if everyone still believes the culture values diversity.” – Scott Berkun, author and speaker on UX design
group of professionals at a table smiling at each other

Employee Engagement

10. “Employee engagement arises out of culture and not the other way around.” – Moe Carrick & Cammie Dunaway, authors of Fit Matters
11. “No company, small or large, can win over the long run without energized employees who believe in the mission and understand how to achieve it.” – Jack Welch, former CEO of General Electric
12. “When people are financially invested, they want a return. When people are emotionally invested, they want to contribute.” – Simon Sinek, author and motivational speaker
13. “Culture is simply a shared way of doing something with a passion.” – Brian Chesky, co-founder and CEO of Airbnb


14. “Camaraderie doesn’t happen by accident; developing a strong sense of trust, accountability, and togetherness around team goals requires intentional effort.” – Don Yaeger, author and public speaker
15. “One of our values is that you should be looking out for each other. Everyone should try to make the lives of everyone else who works here a little bit simpler.” – Stewart Butterfield, founder of Slack


16. “Create the kind of workplace and company culture that will attract great talent. If you hire brilliant people, they will make work feel more like play.” – Richard Branson, founder and CEO of Virgin Group
17. “I look for two things when I hire a new employee: ambition and humility. Without a proven track record of initiative and ambition, it’s likely the person becomes a drain rather than a contributor to the company — even the really smart, talented ones.” – Justin McLeod, CEO and founder of Hinge
18. “Shaping your culture is more than half done when you hire your team.” – Jessica Herrin, founder of Stella & Dot
19. “Culture is what motivates and retains talented employees.” – Betty Thompson, Chief People Officer at Booz Allen Hamilton
20. “Most companies overlook the most basic of all training functions: the onboarding of new employees into their corporate culture.” – Jay Samit, bestselling author
21. “Being a great place to work is the difference between being a good company and a great company.” – Brian Kristofek, CEO of Upshot
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22. “Good leadership requires you to surround yourself with people of diverse perspectives who can disagree with you without fear of retaliation.” – Doris Kearns Goodwin, bestselling author
23. “Daring leaders work to make sure people can be themselves and feel a sense of belonging.” – Brené Brown, bestselling author and speaker
24. “Eliminate politics by giving everybody the same message. Keep a flat organization in which all issues are discussed openly. Empower teams to do their own things.” – Bill Gates, founder and CEO of Microsoft
25. “The leaders who work most effectively, it seems to me, never say 'I.' And that's not because they have trained themselves not to say 'I.' They don't think 'I.' They think 'we;' they think 'team.' They understand their job to be to make the team function. They accept responsibility and don't sidestep it, but 'we' gets the credit. This is what creates trust, what enables you to get the task done.” – Peter Drucker, bestselling author and management consultant

Core Values

26. “Determine what behaviors and beliefs you value as a company, and have everyone live true to them. These behaviors and beliefs should be so essential to your core, that you don’t even think of it as culture.” – Brittany Forsyth, VP of Human Relations, Shopify
27. “Financial Resources may be the lifeblood of a company, but human resources are the brains.” – Rob Silzer, managing director of HR Assessment and Development, Inc.
28. “We believe that it’s really important to come up with core values that you can commit to. And by commit, we mean that you’re willing to hire and fire based on them. If you’re willing to do that, then you’re well on your way to building a company culture that is in line with the brand you want to build.” – Tony Hsieh, former CEO of Zappos
company culture guide

Employee Experience

29. “Employees who believe that management is concerned about them as a whole person — not just an employee — are more productive, more satisfied, more fulfilled. Satisfied employees mean satisfied customers, which leads to profitability.” – Anne M. Mulcahy, former CEO of Xerox
30. “The way I think about culture is that modern humans have radically changed the way that they work and the way that they live. Companies need to change the way they manage and lead to match the way that modern humans actually work and live.” – Brian Halligan, CEO of Hubspot
31. “Make sure everybody in the company has great opportunities, has a meaningful impact and is contributing to the good of society.” – Larry Page, CEO of Google
32. “Always treat your employees exactly as you want them to treat your best customers.” – Stephen Covey, author of 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

The Critical Importance of Culture

33. “Corporate culture is the only sustainable competitive advantage that is completely within the control of the entrepreneur.” – David Cummings, co-founder of Pardot
34. “There’s really no such thing as internal culture any more. Your culture is always public, and it’s your most powerful, public-facing asset or liability.” – David Mattin, head of trends & insights at TrendWatching
35. “Until I came to IBM, I probably would have told you that culture was just one among several important elements in any organization’s makeup and success — along with vision, strategy, marketing, financials, and the like. … I came to see, in my time at IBM, that culture isn’t just one aspect of the game, it is the game. In the end, an organization is nothing more than the collective capacity of its people to create value.” – Louis V. Gerstner Jr., former CEO of IBM

Now that you know the vital importance and critical components of company culture, you can begin to shape your own with your team’s help and input.

Not sure what the state of your company culture is right now? (Yes, you have one, even if you don’t know it yet!) You can measure your current company culture with employee surveys and ask employees directly about various aspects of culture in town halls and one-on-ones.

Once you’re ready to take action, consider hiring a director of community engagement and empowering employees to create employee resource groups, to name just a few starting steps. Culture doesn’t change quickly, but with the right resources and strategy, you can shape the positive, empathetic, active culture your employees and your customers will love.

Remember, a strong company culture isn't just a luxury; it's a necessity for sustainable success. Choose Cooleaf and learn how to make a strong culture happen today.

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