When I share this value with others, I am often asked: “What does that mean?” The sentiment behind this ideal is a reflection of my work history, as I’ve been fortunate enough to work for a series of leaders who not only cared about my performance, but also took an active role in helping me improve and further my skills. There is a quote on my desk which says, “Our chief want in life is someone who will inspire us to be what we know we could be” – by Ralph Waldo Emerson.
One of the more remarkable things about the leaders who have mentored me is that they expected the best from me and gave me the support and education to actually achieve at a higher level. All too often, there are leadership discussions around setting clear expectations, which is meaningful, however we all need more than just clear expectations to succeed. Most of my bosses have been incredibly demanding of me but I also knew they cared for me personally and would give me the tools I needed to be successful.
I believe in something defined as servant leadership, which is to say that the management and leadership of the company is here in service to the employees so they can do a great job for our customers. You should work for someone who not only cares about you, but cares enough about you to help you be great and hold you accountable. Much of my work these days is ensuring and instilling this idea into our thinking and processes whenever possible. You can help me with this by making sure you have regular meetings with your manager and are soliciting feedback on your performance. It is also important that you share with your manager the ways in which they can help you be better in your job.
Right after the start of the company we created the rate your week survey. Although we were really small at the time and I could see from the results of the survey exactly how someone’s week went, I knew it would be important to have a pulse on the organizational health of the company. As a side benefit I want to make sure that everyone felt they could provide feedback to me so I could improve the company.
Understanding the strength and quality of the relationships within the company is the biggest predictor of success for Tahzoo. It’s why we survey you all so often, I really do want to know what people are thinking and how they are feeling. Most CEOs focus on the financial metrics of the company (which are also very important), I know however that if the internal relationships are strong and our people know how to work together, then all other goals and problems are more easily met.
We need to be a learning organization. It is my belief that if we can build and maintain strong working relationships, then we can ask teams from around the global or with many different disciplines and backgrounds to work together to create new ideas. In this way I hope that we can always be addressing the leading edge of the market place and holding our position as a premium brand company. If we are able to maintain and grow this ethos across Tahzoo, we’ll be a great company to work for and we will have ample opportunity to do meaningful work.
When I wrote out the values of the company, in my mind I thought it would be great if we could create a company that provided employees meaningful work, with an opportunity to grow. It was also crucial that this value of caring for our employees was at the top of the chart because I knew as the company grew it had to remain top of mind for everyone who joined the company. It is also an important filter for making decisions going forward … the simple question is “does this action or decision demonstrate that we are caring for our employees?” It is a great context for deciding “what is right.”