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January 17, 2016

Bringing Yourself to Work

January 17, 2016

Work culture is all the rage and if you read this blog with any frequency, odds are you’ve seen a post or two talking about culture. Heck, we have an entire category dedicated to documenting our work culture.

This is a big topic for me (SO much to say, so little blog), so I’m going to focus exclusively on core values this round. So what are core values, anyway?

According to SmallBox Chief Culture Officer, Sara McGuyer...

We like to identify values as behaviors, which can be easy to spot because they can be measured. For instance, words like “trust” and “integrity” aren’t easy to measure or in most cases can be assumed. “Bill was extra trust-worthy in today’s meeting, wouldn’t you say?” – that doesn’t quite work. Here are the SmallBox values as examples:

  • Curiosity
  • Courage
  • Collaboration
  • Persistence

Each of these can be measured based on a team member’s approach to their work or a particular challenge. Did they attack it head-on? How courageous! See how that works?

Values I bring to work

Over the years I’ve become more acutely aware of my behavior or even “style” of work, because much like with organizational core values, I’ve found that when I operate outside of my “zone” I tend to get less out of work. Here are a few personal values that I plan to focus on in my work in my approach to work in 2016:

Example A – GSD (Get Stuff Done)

This may not be an exact “value” but, hustlin, cranking stuff out, checking stuff off the list, just... well... bringing it with a strong work ethic has always been my modus operandi (to a fault, even). I was certainly a work-a-holic in the early phase of my career and, although it wasn’t healthy, I believe it came from a natural place. I loved helping people and couldn’t get enough of it.

In 2016 my goal is to maintain a super healthy balance of GSD with my 2nd example value...

Example B – Joy (or Goofin)

This stems from my personal North Star or “purpose statement”: to promote joy. The feeling of joy has resonated with me for a long time and I’m confident that it comes from a very specific place – the stage. Once upon a time I was a drummer / manager for a psychedelic glam pop band (that wore makeup quite frequently, BTW) and when on the stage performing for people I felt like I was on another planet. Since that time in my life I’ve found joy in other ways (playing with my kiddos, listening to and telling great stories), and I know that I’m in a real unhealthy place when I can’t seize opportunities to goof with others.

As the year began, I made a single and very serious resolution: manage a sustainable stress level. This will allow me to enjoy my work (while still GSD’ing) and encounter or bring joy to others in big and small ways. The key will be maintaining that balance and creating healthy limitations for myself to operate within.

Many refer to this as work-life balance, but in the age of uber-connectedness, isn’t it just life balance?

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