Culture is all around us. Our shared values and beliefs are palpable in the places we visit and the people we meet. We absorb those values from the media we consume and the ideas we expose ourselves to. One of the best ways I know to witness how we can shape our culture is to take a taxi ride in a new city.
i’ve just spent 4 days in Amsterdam speaking at a conference and had some great time walking around the city getting to know its distinct culture.
Every vehicle has a distinct culture that’s created by the driver’s posture. It starts with how the driver dresses and the conversation he or she makes. It’s heavily influenced by the cleanliness of the car and the kind of music the driver plays. And of course, it’s dependent upon his or her attitude to other motorists and how each driver finds meaning in their work. The environment can soothe or agitate, demotivate or inspire.
In taxis on every continent around the world, you can encouter zen and mala beads, negative news channels on the radio accompanied by rude hand gestures out the window. You will meet people who find dealing with passengers a chore and many more who are grateful for work and the feeling of autonomy.
In our communities and businesses, we often lament over our lack of control. We get despondent about what can’t be done to change things—all the while overlooking the endless opportunities we have to change everything.
We are the community, the business and the culture.
We are the makers and the making of the entities and places that shape our world.
We are more powerful than we think.