Building an Amazing Company
People make great organizations.
Try to imagine Thomas Edison inventing the lightbulb. Hundreds, maybe thousands of failed attempts, to get the filament just right. Do you imagine a man with crazy hair, working by candlelight in a small shop, secluded, drawings, scribbles, and the previous failed attempts strewed across a messy shop? The genius in his studio. The mastermind in his own place. Secluded, locked away to hone in on his most intimate knowledge.
Well, that’s not true at all. Instead, imagine 100’s of people in a government funded-state of the art facility each contributing a piece to this electrical puzzle piece to come to a solution that then bore Edison’s name. Yes, Edison was a man of many talents, but it was in the power of a team, the power of an organization that brought to life the many inventions. No matter, how smart, competent, a person is – they are limited in their abilities without others.
We have about 16 people who are putting in the work to make our organization tick along. And guess what; we are all unique, different, and contribute in different ways, and are here for various reasons. We see things differently, we work differently, we are entirely different and unique. If you are on our team, I picked you because of this. I want us to share similar values and work towards a mission together, but I fully expect your unique perspective and difference. One of the primary roles of my responsibility is to take this talent, this ability and meld it together in a way that we play your strengths and we are a better whole than just the sum of its parts. I believe in a synergy where 1+1 does not equal two but can equal three, four or five.
“Each human being is born as something new, something that never existed before….Each person has a unique way of seeing, hearing, touching, tasting, and thinking. Each has his or her own unique potential – capabilities and limitations Each can be significant, thinking, aware, and creative being – a productive person, a winner.” – Muriel James and Dorthy Jongeward in Born To Win.
We are not moving towards touchy feely – kumbayah. I show up to work, to do work. I save my cuddles and kisses for my wife and children (see above). Work is to achieve a goal and work towards a mission. I expect the same from my team. I want to care about one another and extend grace and empathy to one another, a spirit of caring is mandatory, but that doesn’t mean we can’t disagree or have some conflict. I expect in any worthy pursuit we should stand up for what’s best and we may disagree on that. But remember, it should be about a disagreement for what’s best for the organization, not a personal preference.
By the end of 2020, I envision we have a 38 person organization who are growing as a result of working with our company. We have a culture of accountability, caring, and results. The people on our team like the responsibilities and freedoms that come with our culture. As a team, we are born to thrive. Each person takes ownership of their accountabilities and knows how it serves the whole and drives us towards our mission and purpose.
I believe in the power of a team. I believe in the power of our organization and the goals we can accomplish together. I think we have people playing strengths that are abundantly more positioned to thrive than I could in that same role. A team of people with all of our uniqueness, weirdness, and differences is what make great organizations thrive. Same values, different perspectives, on a journey together. Th