Remember the childhood game “King of the Hill”? The basic concept is that a child makes her way to the top of a mound of dirt\sand and the other children try to knock them off and take their place.

There is a corporate version of this game that goes on as well. It came to mind recently listening to all the press around Toyota’s recalls. A little more than a year ago Toyota stripped GM of its “World’s Largest Automaker” crown and has since reigned supreme as the top automaker (although this might be in jeopardy considering Toyota had shut down production during the first quarter 2010.)

So, what do we do when someone takes over as king of the hill? We try to knock them off. Now, I’m not defending or criticizing how Toyota handled the recall. I’m reacting more to the public, media and political response to the situation. Personally, it is a bit over the top. Recalls happen. Reality check: Toyota ranks 17th out of 20 automakers in terms of number of complaints per car. Definitely not the worse of the bunch.

Now, take a minute to apply this theory to your organization. Does your culture exhibit the same behavior? Do you celebrate, support and reward those who are great achievers? Or, does the culture support “behind their back” jabs and criticism? What’s your behavior?