I had a tough conversation with a manager, talking about a decision from one of his team-members to leave the company and go to a competitor. As I unpacked the reasons given by the team member, I thought “this guy is going to be disappointed with our competitor too…”
I’m not trying to be pompous – it’s just that certain industries thrive under specific pressures and deadlines, and personalities either gravitate to them, or veer away from them.
Before starting D&T with Dominic, I did the following jobs
- Film Projectionist
- Gymnastics Coach
- Pre-school Teacher
- Collections Agent
- Client Relations for a law firm
- Executive Assistant
I did all these jobs in five years! Think about that – that means I was jumping from one job to the next in less than a year! By the time I learned how to do the job I was already running for the exit. Something was always not right for me – I wasn’t getting challenged, I “deserved” a promotion, the culture was too boring/too toxic/too saccharine.
So I jumped to another job, thinking that the next gig would be more my style, and I finally would find my niche. And you know what? I did! For about three months into the job I would love it. I learned a new trade and addressed new challenges. Then the honeymoon period would end and it all would become drudgery and rote actions.
According to massive amounts of article that the business development gurus post on Linkedin, or anything you hear on “Culture” from TedTalks, I should be humbled and paranoid about this experience. Great founders OBSESS about culture! So losing people means I’m failing as an employer, right?! I should be shivering in my boots, fretting on why my culture was toxic and how, oh how can I fix it before the company implodes!
But I don’t agree – instead I feel sanguine about the experience. The employee that left is looking for a place wherever he/she needs to fit, and that’s the right choice for that person. The culture at D&T doesn’t fit everyone, and it’s a fool’s errand for it to try to be all things to all people. For the people who like the culture, they will stay and build upon it; everyone else will leave and find their place. And yes, Dom and I worked hard and continue to work hard on the culture of the company and we’re constantly challenging ourselves to Do Good and Be Good (our company motto) by Doing Better and Being Better for all the good people who do work here.
Right now I feel very confident that the culture is strong, the people who stay here are happy, and that the grass is green enough, thank you very much.
I said the grass is GREEN! GREEN!!! You hear ME?!