Over the past several posts, I’ve covered five of our six core values: Delight Every Customer, Innovate and Think Creatively, Treat Each Other Like Family, Have a Passion to Win and Every Dollar Counts. The sixth core value really is more of a mindset and the byproduct of what we believe can happen if we live by these five values—that you actually can look forward to coming to work.
Bizarre, I know…
“[W]ouldn’t it be great to start the week with a ‘Happy Monday!’ rather than thinking about when you’ll be able to say ‘TGIF?’”
I grew up thinking work was a chore, something you did to pay the bills. Perhaps I saw it as a sacrifice because I started working at a young age and felt the conflicts of trying to be a teenager while also working to scrape and save. Early on, I seemed to be surrounded by people who thought this way, and it wasn’t just work. It was school and tests and everything else that seemed mandatory to me.
Then something happened when I went off to college. I was challenged beyond whatever limits I thought I had, but when I shifted into a whole new gear and saw direct results from all of my hard work, I found profound satisfaction and yearned for more.
After college, my first job was on Wall Street as an investment banking analyst (AKA a glorified sweat shop laborer making less per hour than what I could flipping burgers). But the intellectual stimulation of the work made the 90 hour work weeks with no vacation for three years bearable and, in a twisted way, satisfying. Since then, I’ve worked at start-ups and helped to start three companies, so to say the least, things haven’t let up much…
As a result, either through maturity or a change in perspective, I’ve grown to believe that a person can actually enjoy work. Meaningful work is important, and I think great pride can come from it. And this learning hasn’t come only from my work experiences either. The responsibilities and hard work associated with keeping a marriage happy and being a good parent are tremendous, but so are the joys. I can’t think of anything I take greater satisfaction from than my family and my work.
So can we create an environment where people actually look forward to Mondays? We probably won’t instill this belief in all of our employees, but I do believe that if we live by our core values it can happen for some of us at the very least. And hopefully looking forward to Mondays will continue to grow infectiously for years to come. After all, wouldn’t it be great to start the week with a “Happy Monday!” rather than thinking about when you’ll be able to say “TGIF?”