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The Culture Code: The Secrets of Highly Successful Groups Back-of-Book Description

Where does great culture come from? How do you build and sustain it in your group, or strengthen a culture that needs fixing?

In The Culture Code, Daniel Coyle goes inside some of the world’s most successful organizations—including the U.S. Navy’s SEAL Team Six, IDEO, and the San Antonio Spurs—and reveals what makes them tick. He demystifies the culture-building process by identifying three key skills that generate cohesion and cooperation, and explains how diverse groups learn to function with a single mind. Drawing on examples that range from Internet retailer Zappos to the comedy troupe Upright Citizens Brigade to a daring gang of jewel thieves, Coyle offers specific strategies that trigger learning, spark collaboration, build trust, and drive positive change. Coyle unearths helpful stories of failure that illustrate what not to do, troubleshoots common pitfalls, and shares advice about reforming a toxic culture. Combining leading-edge science, on-the-ground insights from world-class leaders, and practical ideas for action, The Culture Code offers a roadmap for creating an environment where innovation flourishes, problems get solved, and expectations are exceeded.

Culture is not something you are—it’s something you do. The Culture Code puts the power in your hands. No matter the size of your group or your goal, this book can teach you the principles of cultural chemistry that transform individuals into teams that can accomplish amazing things together.

My Thoughts

It turns out I’m not the only reader in my house! My boyfriend also reads. Except while I like to mix up my fictions and nonfictions, he exclusively reads the nons. He’s the one who found The Culture Code: The Secrets of Highly Successful Groups and he liked it so much I decided to give it a try. 

And I’m glad I did! As far as nonfictions go, it was one of the more interesting, easy to understand ones. The information was nicely laid out and perfectly broken up into easily digestible chapters.

I also had no trouble relating to the antidotes and enjoying the stories (which was one of the main drawbacks of the last nonfiction book I read). And I just really liked the information in general.

All of the theories and techniques in Culture Code are geared toward creating and maintaining successful, engaged, and happy groups. Which is perfect if you find yourself in a leadership position! And even if you’re not the one who’s actually leading the group, you could still apply this knowledge to affect the group in a positive way, encouraging more pleasant, efficient teamwork.

But even though it looks at groups and how they work together – which are often associated with work or sports – you could definitely apply it to other areas of your life, too.

For example, the author talks about belonging cues and how they’re integral in getting people to feel …well, like they belong. I think if you introduce those cues to your romantic or familial relationships only good, positive things will happen, I’m sure.

Aside from the belonging cues, there is a ton of good takeaways from this book. I marked up a lot of pages and found plenty of really good quotes.

Favorite Quotes From The Culture Code

“Cohesion happens not when members of a group are smarter but when they are lit up by clear, steady signals of safe connection.”


“Belonging cues have to do not with character or discipline but with building an environment that answers basic questions: Are we connected? Do we share a future? Are we safe?


“When an idea becomes part of a language, it becomes part of the default way of thinking.”


“Leaping into the unknown, when done alongside others, causes the solid ground of trust to materialize beneath our feet.”


“The most effective listeners behave like trampolines. They aren’t passive sponges. They are active responders, absorbing what the other person gives, supporting them, and adding energy to help the conversation gain velocity and altitude.”


“Stories are not just stories; they are the best invention ever created for delivering mental models that drive behavior.”


“Creating engagement around a clear, simple set of priorities can function as a lighthouse, orienting behavior and providing a path toward a goal.”


“Give a good idea to a mediocre team, and they’ll find a way to screw it up. Give a mediocre idea to a great team, and they’ll find a way to make it better.”

In Conclusion

5 out of 5 stars! I’m really glad I read The Culture Code and I’m thrilled to be sharing it here with you all. And I definitely plan to share it at work, too. I think some of my colleagues (and definitely my manager!) would appreciate the information. Can’t you just picture them finding ways to apply this to their own groups, slowly making their workplaces more enjoyable for everyone?!

I would definitely recommend this book as a Christmas gift or a ‘happy promotion’ gift to anyone in – or approaching – a leadership role. And also for people who just generally like nonfiction books (like my boyfriend). I haven’t read any of Daniel Coyle’s other books – like The Talent Code – but I plan to.


Thank you so much for reading this book review! If this is your first time at Quotation Re:Marks be sure to check out my other book reviews as well as short stories and blog posts

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