Bringing your whole self to work

We held an Essence Story ‘work session’ this week at the RBC space in Laguna Beach. Several business owners came along to learn first hand what leveraging company values could mean for their business in regard to brand recognition, hiring policies, operating practices and financial planning. During the session we had lively discussions about not being able to ‘do change to people’, the authenticity of brands, being ‘in relationship’ with brands and strong company cultures. During the latter discussion it was fairly natural that Southwest Airlines came up.

Southwest have a company culture that is ‘lived’ by all its employees and involves three key elements; ‘Warrior Spirit’, ‘A Servant’s Heart’ and a ‘Fun-luving attitude’. Each of these elements have associated values and if you are interested you can read more about it at Southwest Company Culture .

I particularly like one of the values they have under ‘Fun-luving attitude’ which is ‘don’t take yourself too seriously’, because frankly when we go to work we tend to don’t we. What is it that we shed when we walk through the doors of the corporation? What is it we stop ‘being’?

In the work session we looked at company values for each business then took another deeper dive into how these values could differentiate each business from their competitors. It is an interesting exercise to do. If you are going to live by company values they need to be authentic for your business and if they are truly authentic for your business they will be different to your competitors. Another very useful exercise is to look at your values in regard to how it will inform company culture, what are the expectations of employees? How will the company at large operate and behave? If a company is transparent about what they value and clear about their purpose and goals, potential employees are empowered to see if their own values align with the company and choose whether the job is the right fit for them. Companies that are clear about their values and honor transparency have happier and more effective employees because they are able to ‘be’ at work instead of just ‘do’ at work.

Just check out this Southwest flight attendant ‘being’ at work. Flight attendant Rapper

What might be different if you were true to ‘your being’ at work?

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