Good Comes First

How Today’s Leaders Create an Uncompromising Company Culture That Doesn’t Suck

The new Amazon bestseller from S. Chris Edmonds and Mark S. Babbitt by Matt Holt Books, an imprint of BenBella Books.


Good Comes First

How Today’s Leaders Create an Uncompromising Company Culture That Doesn’t Suck


The new book from S. Chris Edmonds and Mark S. Babbitt by Matt Holt Books, an imprint of BenBella Books.


“A foundational element of the WD-40 Company tribal culture was formalizing our values. The most impactful element, though, is holding everyone accountable for modeling our values and behaviors daily. Good Comes First maps out a path to success for both elements.”


- Garry Ridge

Chairman & CEO, WD-40 Company
Kris Malkoski headshot 2016

“Good Comes First is an essential tool for building organizations where trust and transparency are constant, and teamwork and respect are contagious. In my role at Newell Brands, I use these principles to drive employee engagement, satisfaction, and business growth. If you lead a team, read this book!”


- Kris Malkoski

CEO, Home Solutions, Newell Brands
Tamara McCleary

“Culture has almost become a buzzword. And yet, for business leaders, Chris and Mark have created a practical field guide for creating a meaningful, deeply human company culture. Good Comes First is a must-read!”

- Tamara McCleary

CEO of Thulium

"Good Comes First outlines detailed steps on how to bring a contagious culture to your company and truly create a differentiating model where respect is valued as high as results.”


- Joel D. Anderson

President/CEO of Five Below, Inc.
Nicole Leinbach headshot

"Small businesses, particularly retail, frequently face challenges with high staff turnover. By making certain that good comes first — that team members are treated with respect in every interaction and validated for their contributions — every business can retain and attract talented, engaged team members. Good Comes First guides business leaders to create an uncompromising work culture that works for all businesses, big and small.”


- Nicole Leinbach

Founder & Publisher, Retail Minded
Susan Thorn headshot LI

“Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, I provided Command Center Servant Leadership support to frontline healthcare workers at a Level 1 Trauma Center. After sacrificing much and receiving little, today those workers and members of their support staff are exhausted. They need and deserve change. Like many business leaders, those in healthcare are now tasked with driving that change while defining a “new normal” that better meets our team members’ mental, emotional, and physical needs. For those forward-thinking leaders, this must-read book is beyond timely; it is a post-pandemic manifesto that enables us to deliberately put GOOD FIRST!”

- Susan Thorn, RN

Director, Clinic Operations and Employee Health Services, Community Medical Centers

The practical, step-by-step guide to creating a work culture that's good for employees and your bottom line.

For decades, talented people have tolerated old-school leaders who put results before respect, toxic company cultures, and workplaces that suck. But those days are over, and if leaders want to attract and retain the best employees—while improving productivity, customer service, employee satisfaction, and profits—it’s time for them to create work cultures where good comes first.

The problem is that because the corporate world has too often been driven primarily by results, we seldom ask leaders to change their work cultures. Even if we did, most leaders don’t know how. This book provides the actionable inspiration and practical direction needed to make that change happen.


In Good Comes First, S. Chris Edmonds and Mark S. Babbitt go beyond theoretical advice, using their extensive contemporary experience to present proven strategies for creating purposeful, positive and productive work cultures. Cultures where good comes first for employees, customers, leaders, and stakeholders—and where improved business outcomes quickly follow.


Evaluate your current culture, then DEFINE your company’s uncompromising work culture, formalizing servant purpose, values and behaviors, strategies, and goals.


Deliberately ALIGN your company’s work habits to the defined culture by modeling, coaching, measuring, and celebrating aligned players and practices.


Consistently REFINE your work culture by coaching and mentoring players and making real-time adjustments to practices that don’t align with your desired culture.

Why Focus On Work Culture, Now?


In this book, you’ll learn how to:

Appreciate why a good comes first culture is a business imperative – especially for younger generations.

Distance yourself from the competition that maintains its undefined work culture (one that most likely sucks).

Identify what “good” means for your company in today’s business climate – and in the future of work.

Define your uncompromising work culture to build a foundation of respect AND results.

Formalize your team’s servant purpose
so that everyone understands how what your team does improves lives and communities.

Specify respectful behaviors so your desired values are observable, tangible, and measurable.

Align your entire organization to your desired work culture – where good comes first every day.

Assess the quality of your work culture by measuring and monitoring how well your leaders and your executive team demonstrate your servant purpose, valued behaviors, strategies, and goals.

Hold everyone accountable for both respect and results through modeling, celebrating, measuring, coaching, and mentoring leaders and team members.

Implement real, needed change – and quit “thinking” about change and “talking” about change.

Become a change champion while creating a lasting legacy as a business leader.

Build a team of good people doing good work in a good company.


"As a fellow business leader, I encourage you to take in every word Chris and Mark have written here in Good Comes First. More importantly, I challenge you to take on the role of change champion as you begin redefining your company culture and make the demonstration of respect as important as achieving results.”


Meet the Authors

SCE Mug Shot GCF 2021

S. Chris Edmonds

Founder and CEO of the Purposeful Culture Group
S. Chris Edmonds is a speaker, author, executive consultant, and founder of The Purposeful Culture Group. He's the author of the Amazon best seller The Culture Engine and five other books.
Mark S Babbitt 21_0526 0

Mark S. Babbitt

President of WorqIQ
Mark S. Babbitt is a speaker, writer, executive coach, consultant, and the President of WorqIQ. He is the co-author of the best-seller A World Gone Social: How Companies Must Adapt to Survive.


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Good Comes First from S. Chris Edmonds and Mark S. Babbitt is set for release September 28, 2021 by Matt Holt Books, an imprint of BenBella Books. Sign up for monthly updates, actionable culture advice, and a copy of the book’s table of contents and foreword by Venus Williams.