I know I’ve been gushy about how much better the culture is at my current workplace, than it was at my previous workplace, toward the end. Thank you for bearing with my Pollyanna self. We had a staff meeting today that reinforced everything I like about it. It’s an exceptionally busy time, there was a mix of good and bad news to deliver, but several themes emerged.
- Transparency. One of the things I liked was that the CEO told us, in advance, what was going to be discussed in the upcoming board meeting. And reported on quarterly progress toward company-wide goals— good and bad. He gave a lot of context about it, but was positive and encouraging, not pulling punches about the things that aren’t going well, but really focusing on the wins. I liked that. It felt like I was getting the whole story, not just the spin.
- Acknowledgment. He gave quarterly awards, and I felt like the awards were really genuine. There were awards at each of my previous workplaces, also, but it seemed like, especially in the last place, they were kind of an afterthought, or a make-good. In fact, it was almost sarcastically given— a tchotchke that the CEO found on a display shelf in the office that she found absurd and didn’t know what to do with, so now she gives it to someone and mandates that they display it as a badge of honor. Here, it felt like it was heartfelt, in a way that I appreciated. In fact, he had so many that he did honorable mentions, and admitted that he could tell stories of the greatness of pretty much everyone in the room, if we had more time. To me, that’s the big difference-maker. It’s not a huge office, but he’s a busy guy with a lot on his plate. The fact that he has a good sense for why all of his staff members rock, individually? That’s it. It matters that he sees it, and it matters that he tells us he sees it and it means something to him.
- Context. I talked about this a little before, but I like that you get enough information to understand why someone in another department is invested in something. Why they’re working on something. Especially as a new person, it’s helped me to make connections to the big picture and to have something to say to people outside of the projects I immediately work on.
In some ways, I feel like I’m studying leadership here. I felt like I’ve seen cautionary tales about leadership before, but this seems like leadership done in a way I’d want to emulate. And the exciting thing is that it’s doing what it’s supposed to do— the results are lining up with the strategy just as predicted/desired.