Season 4 Episode 19: Culture: Eco over Ego

S4 E19 - Culture: Eco vs Ego
S4 E19 – Culture: Eco vs Ego

Culture is a dynamic and ever-changing ecosystem within an organization. The leaders role is to help nurture, water, prune and support the climate of the ecosystem. The best cultures value the Eco over the Ego.

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1:47 – Jason introduces Season 4 episode 19 of the podcast. Welcome back to the podcast on corporate culture and leadership and thank you for listening. We engage thought leaders like CEOs, CFOs, managers, VPs, directors, and more for this podcast. We wish to create content that engages your mind and heart and allows you to step back and think and add some positivity to your life. This podcast is about how company culture is always changing whether we acknowledge it or not and how to be part of that change in a positive way.

2:30 – Please leave a review for the podcast

3:05 – We can’t control everything but what we can control is our response. Still a lot of work to do but wanted to remind the audience what is within our control is the temperature we create in the organizations and teams we work with. If you have a suggestion, please send to

3:45 – Jason talks about the idea that culture is dynamic, it is always changing and evolving. How we act, interact, and are part of everyone in our ecosystem is part of the change. Perhaps you think about it in terms of the team, the board, your family, we are all part of an ecosystem or culture. Some leaders by title and some because they tend the soil and intentionally support the ecosystem. Listen to our recent podcast about the book discussion from Emergent Strategies.

5:41 – “The role of organizers in an ecosystem is to be earthworms, processing and aerating the soil. Making fertile ground out of nutrients of sunlight, water, and everything that dies to nurture the next cycle of life. Leaders and culture ambassadors set the temperature and climb it for the ecosystem to grow.” – Emerging Strategies

The question is not, will your culture change but what role do you want to play in what the culture is going to become. Culture is dynamic.

7:00 – Jason leads a discussion about how culture is dynamic and always changing. CEOs and leaders will often ask to change their culture, when, in fact, the culture is already changing day-in-day-out through every interaction and our thoughts and actions within the ecosystem.

10:05 – Will we sit back? Will we let the culture just be what it is? Or, as intentional leaders, and culture shaping ambassadors who tend the soil, how will we help support the grow and proactively set a temperature for the soil and the entire ecosystem. Jason mentions his books on leadership, culture, vision, and values which can be found here. 

Jason has witnessed that authentic and compelling culture-shaping doesn’t just happen. We wish to believe it will become this amazing garden without doing anything but the reality is that the best gardens, the best ecosystems, the best teams and organizations on the planet are led and supported to help everything grow. This doesn’t also mean that we don’t let some things die but through that, it can be groomed and grown to what it needs to become.

11:53 – “When will we know it’s working?” Or “when will we be done?” are some popular questions and Jason’s response is that your culture will never be done. If you are committed to the ongoing tilling of the soil and helping the ecosystem, then over time you will create a garden and a culture and an ecosystem that you want to be done and even better than you can imagine.

14:30 – Jason talks about the importance to spot the areas of growth along the way. The truth is that culture-shaping is never done. So how do you measure it? You access the progress based on the growth and vision you have for the beauty of that ecosystem. How are we behaving? Pulse surveys about how they are feeling about what we have created, how are we hiring, all of these things as we step back and can get a better view of the ecosystem.

16:35 – There are always areas to prune to create space for new growth to happen. In a past podcast, Jason talked about a past podcast that mentions conflict and difference being generative to use that conflict to stimulate further growth. Leaders never stop tilling, nurturing the soil, the process of developing culture never stops because it’s dynamic.

18:30 – Jason tells a funny story about finding the perfect plant at Lowe’s and wondering why this plant isn’t growing in their soil? The reason is the prep, you need to till and tend to the soil and water and nurture so that the talented great plants can grow.

19:50 – The best leaders remember ECO vs EGO. The ECO-system of the culture always takes preference over their own EGO. It isn’t the EGO-system, it is the ECO-system of an organization.

Questions to ponder:

  1. In what ways does your cultural ecosystem need to be feed, pruned, watered, and nurtured?
  2. In what ways can your time keep the ECO over the EGO?

Remember, the best cultures and teams everywhere stimulate progress by recalibrating their thermostat creating an environment and a climate that helps till, water, feed, support the ecosystem together.

If you like the podcast, have a question, or just want to share your thoughts about daring to begin please leave a comment below or please leave a review on Apple Podcasts or Google Podcasts.


Conversations and micro-thoughts to engage your mind and heart.

A thermostat is proactive. It sets the temperature in a room. Controls the temperature. Regulates the temperature. But in today’s distracted, fast-paced and digital world, it’s easy for individuals and organizations to act more like thermometers, slipping into reactionary thinking, becoming scattered and inconsistent. The most compelling leaders, teams, organizations, families or collection of humans of any kind operate in thermostat mode. They calibrate their mind and heart to set the temperature for the vision and culture they want to create. Jason Barger, globally celebrated author, keynote speaker, and founder of Step Back Leadership Consulting, is the host of The Thermostat, a podcast journey to discover authentic leadership, create compelling cultures and find clarity of mission, vision, and values.