When I first launched Good for the Soul, a very good friend asked me a question. She said, “What’s your main goal?” Her question took me a bit by surprise since I though the way I’d branding my type of consulting was pretty clear. The more I thought about it, however, the more her question was brilliant. Yes, I wanted to focus on areas most interesting to me. Sure, I’d like to make a living through that focus. And I really wanted to help people tackle problems, grow more confident and have fun along the way. But mostly, really and truly, I wanted to work with people I liked. I wanted to surround myself with people I enjoy most – people who are smart, creative, empathetic, driven, funny, introspective, positive and passionate. I wanted to pick the clients with whom I work and have the final say in who carries my brand. I wanted to work with people I liked.
We spend so much time with work and at work. We spend a good chunk of the hours we’re awake with these people. Why spend so much time working with people we don’t like? I’ve been fortunate enough to make good friends at every place I’ve worked. Sure, there are lots of people with whom I’m friendly, but I’m talking about the people you bring into your life outside of work – the people with whom you stay in touch long after neither one of you work at the organization where your paths crossed. These are the people I like and the people with whom I want to work on a regular basis.
Someone once told me you shouldn’t ever have a team member who you wouldn’t have over to your house for dinner. While perhaps somewhat difficult to describe in a job posting (“Must be willing to come over for dinner and not care that I’ve ordered in and not cooked – trust me, we’ll all be happier”), I think there’s something to this. And to be clear, this isn’t the the same as only having people on your team who think like you do. A good, spirited debate can be just as fun as banding together to slam the newest political foe. It’s not about whether or not we agree on everything – it’s about whether or not you have my back and I have yours. We trust each other, value similar things and are willing to work towards them together. Those are the people I want to have over for dinner. And the people I want to surround me at work, too. With an amazing group of people like that, we can figure out the rest together. That’s my main goal.