Tough Mudder is an all-out extreme fitness event. You could describe it as an obstacle course, but that might not call to mind being shocked by live wires or jumping into dumpsters filled with ice, which are both “obstacles” in this course. Trifunk’s founder, Ariel Remer, has participated in two Tough Mudders and while we think that he is a little crazy for doing so, the event-goers, like him, are loyal to the brand and happily crawl through puddles of mud to prove it.
Inc.’s interview with Tough Mudder’s CEO, Will Dean, articulates his incredible views on company culture, a culture that’s strength is shown during the actual Tough Mudder events. Last year, nearly 500,000 participants contributed to the three-year-old, $70 million business from Brooklyn, New York.
Even if your company isn’t in the business of bruising your clients, Will Deans’ views on company culture can still apply.
Will Dean’s Wise Words on Company Culture: (from Inc.’s interview)
1. As a leader, you set the culture of your team.
“Like it or not, when your company gets to a certain size, the way you manage changes. You go from being a manager to a leader, and in my mind, there are only two things a leader should worry about: strategy and culture. Those two things take up most of my time.”
2. Choose your team wisely to fit into this culture.
“I consider it a mental challenge to get someone to give an honest answer… That’s what we’re really testing [during a job interview]. Do you have intellectual curiosity, a natural sense of fun, an adventurous nature? Do you not take yourself too seriously?”
3. Build your company’s critical values into this culture.
“We invest phenomenal amounts of money on safety. We have a medical staff at each event. We probably have more lawyers on staff than some law firms do. We have a book of contingency plans that every employee reads and takes a test on. If you don’t pass, you have to go through training and have a discussion with a senior manager.”
To get a glimpse into Tough Mudder’s culture, here is their intro video: