In my very humble opinion, one of the most important tasks you have as a manager or owner or any leadership position you might acquire is to MAKE sure you MAKE TIME to properly nurture your employees,
Being consistent to our theme of complete transparency, this very concept took me a while to figure out. And as they say, if I am being honest, it's one that I am still trying to figure out.
Matter of fact, until recently, I didn't give the necessary time required to even consider saying we have a "culture code" or anything near that really.
My idea of "culture" was getting a cool office at one of the many WeWork buildings downtown and that should suffice, right?
While having an office downtown at WeWork was "cool", it didn't define us as a company nor did it encapsulate what it is to work here and become a marketing technologist.
In reference to the opening statement of this page, one of the things we don't have a lot of these days is time. You know what I am talking about. We all say it "I'm so busy" or "I don't have time for this" or whatever excuse you want to come up with so as not to put the time required to truly create a one-of-a-kind workplace environment (paradise) sort of speak.
Until recently, I'd say within the last year or 2, did I only start to actively listen to our employees (as opposed to passively by say uh-huh and yea a lot)
I then started doing a little research around the topic. A "little" research quickly escalated into a daily pursuit of more information and examples that I could show and use.
As I started to put together an outline of what I thought was going to be some masterpiece work of culture code art.
A work of art that one day would potentially remind marketers of current day culture code legends like HubSpot and Netflix.
Two of my favorites culture code decks are those belonging to HubSpot and Netflix.
HubSpot Culture Code Deck
I believe these 2 culture code decks are amongst the best out there and represent a standard by which we can all be inspired to create something for our company and those who work there.
In case you are interested in more culture code decks to be inspired by, check out this link by Andy Cook of Tettra put together just last month. Check it out here:
Our culture code, like most, has been/is and always will be a work in progress.
However, I am confident in what we've put together so far is a great start, even though it lacks a presentation format needed to finalize. It's also a precise reflection of how I've grown professionally over the last few years.
You may have read other blog posts that state how important it is to not only have a culture code but to document it and live by it every day. This is one statement that will always ring true. It's imperative that your culture code comes to life and is part of your everyday dealings both internally and with the customer.
If you come for a visit or are at the office, you will probably hear me say these things or give reference to them out of the blue. It's not intended to make sure we say something from our culture code 5 times a day. It's just a true representation of the world we live in and how we strive to make it better for everyone around us, each day.
We hope you enjoy the start of our culture code. Make sure you check back on occasion as we plan to continually update this core piece of documentation in our business. We'd love to hear your comments and welcome all feedback.
1. Integrity Above All Else
2. Reputation Over Revenue
3. Extreme Ownership
4. Extreme Organization
5. Balanced Humilty
6. Endless Curiosity
7. Get Stuff Done!
8. Measure Before All Else
9. Users First, Everything Elze 2nd (including Google)
10. Practice Living In The No "I Think" Zone
Integrity by definition is the QUALITY of being honest, not just being honest in a given situation. By definition it also refers to one who has a strong moral code.
For me it's simple. It's always striving to do the right thing, even though no one is watching and no one will ever find out. To quote C.S. L:ewos.- Integrity is doing the right thing even when no one is watching.
All-day,.everyday, , without question.
One phrase that you will hear me say quite frequently is -
For Good For Profit
This is what we strive for every day. It's a phrase that I've adopted as one of my core ethics as I've matured through my business endeavors and that of JeremySaid and it's employees.
Oddly enough, this doesn't appear to be something that most of us are born with. It's so much easier to point the finger and simply shift the blame or refocus the intent of a consequence.
However, within digital project management and agency life, those who own outcomes and guide teams to successful endeavors, rise to the top quickly and confidently.
We strive to be insanely accurate on everything we touch, especially when dealing with customer outcomes. We know it's not possible to be 100 percent but we give it everything we have to get as close as we can. knowing that mistakes will be made. The best thing is to learn from them, document them for future reference and to pass on to others coming up through the ranks.
This level of honesty and tact will resonate throughout any internal or customer relationship you have.
There is no worse secret and silent agency killer than being unorganized even the slightest bit.
This also stems from the top and requires persistence as well as adherence to policy and process.
There is nothing worse than wasting a customer or potential customer's time on the phone or even an in-person meeting because you can't find a file that you were supposed to review and you come to find out there are 15 different versions of the "final version" and they are in 15 different locations.
Might as well just hang it up and start over. Again, I can't stress this enough that there is no worse agency enemy than an owner and/or management team that isn't organized as a professional.
One thing that has always remained a constant for me is an unquenchable thirst for knowledge. And at this point you may be thinking, yeah yeah Jeremy, doesn't this have more to do with Number 6 - endless curiosity?
And the answer is sure, absolutely, However, the point here is that I love to learn and I know I can never stop learning. On the flip side, I absolutely love to teach. I feel it's one of those internal civic duties if you will,. to pass on the knowledge I've gained in a way that relates to whatever that person is doing or engaging in at any given time.
Teaching someone something and asking them to just remember really isn't teaching nor is it learning.
The reason I've gone a little over the deep end here setting up the framework for balanced humility is that in order to have the empathetic skills to learn from someone regardless of age or experience is equally as important as knowing that at some given interval it will be your turn to teach others what you've learned along the way.
Both of these endeavors take an incredible amount of humility and its something that my parents instilled in me from an early age. Humility is a very close cousin of gratitude and exudes class at every level. It's one of the top soft traits I've looked for over the years in people that I want to be around, work with and/or work for.
We can all always practice being a little more humble every day.
And it seems like I was just talking about this too. Ah yes, I was. It goes right along with the "never being satisfied" statement that you may hear around the office. Which builds upon the extreme ownership piece etc etc. You get where.I am going with all of this.
Curiosity is one of those innermost feelings that allow us to continue to explore something until we are satisfied with the answer we've found or have been given.
My never ever ever ending darkest deepest alternate galaxy of curiosity has served me very well in the digital world over the last 20 years.
It's allowed me to ask why not only 5 times like they say you should, .but 50 times and still sometimes not get to the core of "why this stupid silly site will all these stuffed keywords everywhere and in white text is ranking higher than our customer's site. Talk about an 18 hour day without even thinking about going home. More like - did someone bring an extra sleeping bag so I can stay under my desk today until I figure this problem out.
That's the kind of endless curiosity I am talking about. Now, the real question is, how do you prove to the person interviewing you that you are curious. My favorite is when I am training someone to do interviewing and they accidentally ask if the person is curious or not as a yes or no question.
Talk about an awkward moment. Usually one happens once those, as the person training doesn't make that mistake twice.
I've always repeatedly stated to anyone working for me that this was a trait that you have to possess working in this industry. 9-5 is just when we try and get most of the client stuff done and most of the time it doesn't get all the way done.
The real magic happens during your researching time either after dinner / before bedtime or even on occasion the way late nighter / I couldn't sleep honey so I just dove into all the stuff I have to learn in order to be on top as a technical marketer.
Usually that's followed by a big sigh, a rolling of the eyes and a whatever, if you are lucky. Note: no where in here do a recommend this being a habit, but on occasion it does happen if your curiosity meter pegs the red line.
Say it any way you want to say it. Number 7 is no stranger to any one of us that works in technology / saas or startup land.
It's one of those of those acroynms that you can use at really any time or any place within the working day.
You can choose to go PG or ramp it up with emphasis and let your own rated R version flair from your lungs as you try to motivate and inspire everyone around you. 8