“Either you run the day, or the day runs you.”
– Jim Rohn
This is the second in a three-part Desk of Brad series returning to the core ideas at the heart of the company, which I wrote four years ago. I have recently re-read them and have decided to republish them. (I have updated them only slightly.) I think it’s valuable to return to these sorts of statements periodically to assess whether we as a company and we as people are remaining true to the principles that make us a great company.
This week we return to Our Values:
Character is one of the most important things for me. The very first act of Tahzoo was to establish a core set of values. In a Starbucks, in Northwest DC, I wrote out a list of values that would guide our company. This happened before we incorporated, before we hired anyone, or had even settled on the name of the company. It is the most important thing I’ve done at Tahzoo.
-If you care about your customers and your employees, you’ll have a company worth caring about
-Hire for character before capability
-Hire interesting people who are interested in change
– Believe in the marketplace of ideas
Genuine caring implies conscientious stewardship of our personal relationships. What more is a company than a collection of relationships, after all, organized to solve problems for our clients? We go to work every day so we can enrich our lives and provide for our families. Our clients make that possible. Do not ever forget that.
We should be grateful for our clients and we should be able to count on each other. This is my first purpose, above all other demands in the business. I see this as the primary lens for decision-making across the company. If we institutionalize this value, we will always find our way.
You have to trust the people around you. It’s more important than how smart or capable they are. It is the foundation of teamwork. As a growing company, we can’t ever jeopardize the relationships that we’ve built. We must resist the temptation to hire those who present well but lack character. We’ve chosen to tackle difficult and challenging problems for our clients. We are going to need to collaborate and debate. Many times, we won’t agree, but if we are fair, honest, and committed to each other, we will do great work.
In my experience, people are interesting because they are engaged, passionate, and curious. As I’ve mentioned earlier, we live in a time of unparalleled change. In order for us to be great and to lead our clients through this wave of innovation, we need to be thinking, writing, and dreaming about what happens next. We are fortunate to part of a company that doesn’t just see the future, we create the future when we work together, hire well, and work hard.
I believe in passionate debate. Great ideas are born and given life in the cauldron of a collective perspective. This is the energy that will drive our company forward. If you trust the people you work with; then trust them with your ideas.
We need to be a team and a family of co-workers that share a common value system. In order to accomplish our goals. We are multi-disciplinary teams execute flawlessly. So, while many companies can achieve success, if not over-achieve, with committed, hardworking employees, we cannot. Tahzoo must have teams of people with different skills to inspire one another to solve customer problems in new ways.
Great companies are purposefully built. Their values and expectations are driven consistently through every level of the organization. The health of our company is not reflected in our balance sheet, but the quality of our relationships and our adherence to our values.
Let’s go be great!