About
8th Best Large-Company Culture in America

Our Culture

Our culture is not the only culture that can be successful. However, it is the foundation of how we run our business.

Humility

Unity

Freedom

Values

Emotional Health

Speed & Accuracy

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For N2 to commit so much trust into my hands… I deem it a great challenge, and, at the same time, a great privilege.
- Clem Asante
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I’m often asked the question, 'What is the key to N2’s growth?' In short, my answer is, 'Our people.' It’s the way our people respond to opportunity and challenge, the way they take care of business and each other – their behavior, which can be summed up as the culture of N2.

N2 Culture Deck

The Culture Deck

  • This slide deck is our current best thinking about maximizing our likelihood of continuous success.
  • Our culture is a work in progress.
  • Every year we try to refine our culture further as we learn more.
  • We don’t mean to suggest that our culture is the only culture that can be successful. It is however the foundation of how we choose to run our business.
  • We aren’t for everyone.
  • Many of these philosophies are borrowed or adopted from other business gurus, like Jim Collins, or other culture decks, like that of Netflix. Our thanks to them for some of the inspiration it gave us.

Lots of companies have nice sounding value statements

Enron’s Core Ethical Values Were:

Integrity
Communication
Respect
Excellence

Their four values were chiseled in marble in the main lobby, but in 2001, Enron collapsed and 15,000 employees lost their jobs after the leaders hid billions of dollars in debt and bankrupted the company.

Values

The real company values as opposed to the nice-sounding values, are shown by who gets rewarded, promoted, or let go.

Promotions and Rewards

We promote and reward leaders who live the culture.

Basis for Promotions

  • Actions consistent with our culture.
  • Demonstrated achievement (Job Performance.
  • Consistent achievement for a sustained time frame (some people look for a raise after three months).
  • Leadership ability and potential.
  • Accumulated sweat equity (the right people pay their dues).
  • A “What more can I do to help?” and a “Go the extra mile” approach to work everyday.

Promotions

  • Whenever possible we will promote from within.
  • We believe in developing In-House talent.

Hiring

Cultural Fit is a competency. It’s not an extra.

Not the Right Fit

Those who repeatedly breach our cultural values will not last long, regardless of their work performance.

Not the Right Fit

Brilliant Jerks

  • Some companies tolerate them.
  • For us, the cost to teamwork is too high.
  • Diverse styles are fine - as long as the person embodies our values.

Pay

  • Top 50% (We aim to pay our team members within the top 50% of comparable positions with other companies).
  • However we don’t pay in the top percentile of comparable positions with other companies.

Why Do Companies Pay at the Top Percent?

  • Expect you to work extreme hours.
  • Expect you to perform at extreme levels under extreme pressure.
  • They have an awful work environment (Culture).
  • Extreme qualification (Harvard Grads Only).

Expectations

Our team members understand, above all else, that they must know what is expected of them. If they are ever unsure or unclear about this single point, they will ask a team leader immediately, and not drift about waiting for someone to come to them.

Responsibilities

Our team members understand that they do not have “jobs” - they have responsibilities - and they grasp the distinction between just doing assigned tasks and taking full responsibility for the results of their efforts.

Loyalty

  • People who have been stars for us, and hit a bad patch, get a near term pass because we think they are likely to become stars for us again.
  • We want the same: if N2 hits a temporary bad patch, we want people to stick with us.
  • But unlimited loyalty to an ineffective employee, is not what we are about.

Accuracy & Speed

We measure people by how accurately, and how quickly, they get their work done. We are in a deadline based business. Some people are accurate, but so slow it doesn’t get done in time. Others are very fast, but their work is not accurate, and therefore of little use. We look for speed and accuracy.

Clock Watchers

  • Greatness is never measured by how many hours it took. It’s measured by the finished result.
  • In other words, our team members aren’t worried that if they stayed at the office for two extra hours today that they should be entitled to leave two hours early tomorrow. They work two extra hours today because it’s the right thing to do, period.

Own Your Mistakes

Everyone makes mistakes.
Our team members don’t make excuses, they OWN their mistakes. They learn from their mistakes. They do not repeat their mistakes.

It Takes Time to Establish a Track Record

It takes time to build/earn a positive reputation. Our team understands this. They also understand that they will be measured by their cumulative resume, not just on what they’ve done lately.

Characteristics We Value

  • Self-motivating, self-disciplined & self-improving.
  • Doesn’t wait to be told what to do.
  • Never feels “that’s not my job.”
  • Picks up the trash lying on the floor.

Behaves Like An Owner

  • Spending.
  • Treats equipment like they would their own.
  • Reputation.

There is Always a Solution to the Problems I Encounter

People Solve Problems, and People Make Great Products

We give our people freedom to do both. People who need close supervision, or who will cheat the system if not closely watched, will be quickly separated from N2.

I Believe I Can Be Better Tomorrow Than I Am Today

We Seek Radiators, Not Drains

  • There are two types of people. The first is the type of person who drains the life from one person to the next with their negativity. The second type radiates energy, uplifting all those around them to another level.
  • We seek a workplace filled with a community of radiators, who take not only work, but life to the next level.

Mental Toughness

  • Our people are among the mentally toughest people you will ever meet.
  • They encounter setbacks and turn them into comebacks.

Risk

  • If you take risks all of the time or none of the time, you fail.
  • We don’t take reckless risks yet we embrace the calculated risk as an important part of reaching our potential.

Actions We Value

Team Members Who...

  • Take a little greater share of the blame and a little smaller share of the credit.
  • Love helping people.
  • Continue to search for the best answer, not the familiar or easy one.
  • Aren’t afraid to sacrifice and work hard for long-term gain.

Actions We Value

Team Members Who...

  • Inspire and motivate rather than intimidate and manipulate.
  • Know that disappointments are a part of life and know how to handle them positively.
  • Realize their dispositions are more important than their positions.

Actions We Value

Team Members Who...

  • Understand that their character is a reflection on their company.
  • Never place themselves above others.
  • Will be honest in small things as in great things.

Actions We Value

Team Members Who...

  • Follow a moral compass that points in the right direction regardless of trends.
  • Work together as a team to get better both individually and as a whole.
  • Ask for help when they feel they need it.
  • Believe whole heartedly in themselves and the company.

Actions We Value

Team Members Who...

  • Are students who realize that they should constantly be looking to grow both professionally and personally.
  • Understand, it’s We NOT Me.

Emotional Health

Emotionally healthy people are attracted to other emotionally healthy people. On the contrary, people who enjoy drama and gossip are attracted to other emotionally unhealthy people. We make it a point to hire and keep “Healthy People” with “Healthy Attitudes” and keep drama and gossip out of our workplace.

Freedom

Our model is to increase employee freedom as we grow, rather than limit it, to continue to attract and nourish innovative people, so we have a better chance of long-term success.

Some roles allow for more freedom than others. A designer can work remotely from a laptop, a press operator cannot.

Habits

We form our habits, and then our habits form us.

“Almost everything you do is determined by your habits. From the time you get up in the morning to the time you goto sleep at night, your habits largely control and dictate the words you say, the things you do, and the ways you react and respond. Successful, happy people have good habits that are life enhancing. Unsuccessful, unhappy people have habits that hurt them and hold them back.” - Brian Tracy

Our people seek to develop success-driving habits.

Unity

Any employee has the right to and is encouraged to voice their opinion as it pertains to helping the company. All opinions or ideas cannot always be followed. Our people understand that. When a decision has been made that differs from an individual’s own opinion, our people respect that their opinion was listened to, but ultimately not acted upon. They fully support the direction that was chosen. They root for its success.

Consistency

We value consistent behavior and actions. We value those who we know we can expect excellence from on any given day, regardless of circumstances.

Trust

  • Trust is the foundation of any healthy relationship, including workplace relationships.
  • Dysfunction occurs in the absence of trust.
  • Team members need to be able to trust their other team members.
  • Our team members, each realizing the value of trust, work diligently to never lose the trust of their co-workers, knowing that once trust is lost, regaining it is difficult.

Humility

Humility: quality or state of NOT thinking you are better than other people.

  • We seek team members who are ambitious first and foremost for the cause, the organization, and the work, not themselves.
  • Our leaders are at all times trustworthy and they strive for humility to put the needs of their team above their own.

Entitlement

“Talent is God-Given, be humble.
Fame is Man-Given, be thankful.
Conceit is Self-Given, be careful.”
- John Wooden

We Want “Scholarship Players” with the “Walk-On” Approach

The Customer is NOT Always Right

  • Our default response is that we side with our people and back our people up (unless we have reason not to).
  • Sometimes customers lie or have unreal expectations. We will not sacrifice the most important relationships we have, those with our people, to support “bad” customers. We’ll fire a customer before firing an employee for an honest mistake.
  • If forced to choose, we pick our people.

Avoid the Water-Cooler Gang

Gossip: idle, unproductive chatter that is negative.

In our experience, there are no positives that come out of gossip. Furthermore, it actually has a negative effect on the culture and morale. Our team members address concerns with their immediate supervisor or others directly when needed.

Camaraderie

Camaraderie: mutual trust and friendship among people who spend a lot of time together.

  • We enjoy our work because we work with friends, and have fun doing it.
  • We will play pranks on each other, but at the end of the day we have each others’ backs.
  • We know we can count on our team members to be there for us not just at work but in life.

Respect

Regardless of tenure, position, pay grade or other, each of our team members treat one another with respect.

Function Over Flash

No Fancy...

Offices
Furniture
Signage
Artwork
Etc.

Function Over Flash

  • No reserved parking spots.
  • No separate executive lounge or cafeteria.
  • On rare occasions when travel is required, we don’t pay extra for first-class tickets or fancy hotel suites.

Catching People Doing Things Right

At every monthly office-wide update, we recognize team members who are setting the right example. Any team member can nominate anyone in the company, regardless of position. While we can’t recognize every example of exemplary behavior, we want to acknowledge it whenever possible.

Guardians of the Culture

  • Our team members don’t look the other way when they see behavior that isn’t consistent with our values as an organization. They address concerns directly and swiftly, with the right people even though it’s often easier to ignore.
  • Doing nothing is not acceptable.

Discrimination

Sexual discrimination, gender discrimination, racial discrimination, religious discrimination or discrimination of any kind will not be tolerated whatsoever in N2.

We Have Enough to Win

In times of rapid growth, challenges, or unexpected obstacles, our team searches for and finds a way to get the job done rather than coming up with reasons why they can’t.

Growth

We embrace growth and everything that comes with it. The opportunities, challenges, and the changes.

Going the Extra Mile

  • We don’t want people who go the extra mile occasionally, or those who do so because they feel that it will be good for their “career”.
  • We want people who go the extra mile because it’s the only way they know how.

Accountability & Performance

  • We’re like a pro sports team, not a kid’s recreational team.
  • N2 is not a 4th Grade soccer team where everyone gets equal playing time and gets recognized regardless of contribution.
  • We’re like a pro sports team, where every roster spot is earned. Performance demands more playing time and is rewarded by more opportunities to impact the team.

Preserve the Core & Stimulate Progress

We will keep clear the distinction between “what we stand for” (which WILL never change) and “how we do things” (which should never stop changing).

Download the N2 Culture Deck file_download

Our Mission

To build a nationwide business that honors God, strengthens the family and creates financial wealth for everyone involved.

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CONNECTING NEIGHBORS

We produce customized publications, filled with news and special events that take place throughout the month.

SERVING BUSINESSES

We connect businesses with some of the most affluent and influential homeowners in America.

CREATING OPPORTUNITY

We open the door to a prosperous future for our Area Directors as we expand across the United States.

Our objective is to provide homeowners and communities with a superior publication that is informative and useful, while providing businesses with an exceptional way of promoting their products and services.
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Duane

Our Story

Duane and Earl wanted to build a successful company without compromising time with their families — and they wanted the same for everyone who worked alongside them. So they crafted a business model where success is measured in hard work rather than long hours and where healthy homes are as highly valued as good sales. Turns out, lots of people were attracted to a company with these values, so N2 has quickly become one of the fastest growing enterprises in the nation.

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Our Product

People are often curious how a print media company is not only alive but thriving in the digital age. The answer is simple: our people make a product that cannot be beat.

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WE CREATE CUSTOMIZED PUBLICATIONs

We create custom publications that transform places people live into places people love. Our publications give members of exclusive communities the opportunity to learn about their neighbors by reading their stories and seeing photos that are important to them. The result: quality publications that echo the voice of the neighborhood and reflect the community itself. Throughout the nation, communities who receive an N2 publication find that they know more about their neighbors and feel connected to them in ways that are meaningful and life changing.

A Note from our founders

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