How to Build a Culture with a Competitive Edge

How to Build a Culture with a Competitive Edge

[March 5, 2024 – Blog] There are many factors that go into building a culture—in the companies, families and organizations we are a part of. For many years as CEO of T3 and now as CEO of Gay Gaddis, LLC, I find that culture does trump just about everything. It is the glue that holds us together. It is the bond of trust, happiness and courage that moves us forward.

At one point at T3, we would say that our culture was our “unfair competitive advantage”—and actually I think that was the truth. A strong corporate culture allows you to attract and retain the best talent, and talent in creative endeavors and service industries is the key to all success.

Shortly after I started T3 in 1989, I decided I would write a personal, handwritten note to every employee on their birthday and anniversary date with the company. These were not short, generic cards, but rather thoughtful letters written for each person in my unique style of calligraphy. 

At first this was not such a big task when I had less than 20 employees. However, as the years went on and our numbers soared into the 200’s, it became a labor of love. I had to find out from layers of management recent accomplishments of each employee to add to my own personal observations. 

Many days I would walk through T3 and see these letters proudly pinned on the walls of my employees’ offices. Just recently I had a former employee tell me she had saved all her letters from me over the years and that she treasured them.

Gestures of thoughtfulness and kindness to people who give their hearts and souls to help you and your endeavors succeed, is the secret sauce of life. I still cannot thank them enough.

So, when you think of how to build a culture that is truly an unfair competitive advantage, think about the things you can do that will set you apart from others. Maybe it’s a handwritten note or maybe it’s a face to face ‘thank you.’ Or perhaps it’s a big smile on your face when you see someone who has helped you beyond measure. Whatever sentiment or tradition you establish, make it your own and from the heart.

Think on these things,

Gay Gaddis Signature

Gay Gaddis
Founder. Author. Artist. Trailblazer.

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