This is a very well-distilled explanation of an important point: the culture of a company (or of a group of friends, or of a city, or of a country) isn't captured by asking people what the culture is, but by asking "what do you need to know to get ahead."

That's not meant as a motivational statement: it's meant as a tool for understanding your group. The things which actually get someone ahead or hold them back, things which can be very ugly to look at sometimes, are the things which the society rewards and punishes. And as anyone who's ever run a team knows, you get what you incentivize; your incentives are your culture, and when they don't align with your high-flown statements, that just means that your statements are wrong.

The exercise the author presents at the end is quite a valuable one. 
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