I want to start today’s CEO message with an explanation as to what this daily message is and the background on why it came about…
As the company grew from a mere 70ish employees when I took over as CEO in 2004, to over 1,000 of us worldwide, I struggled to find a way to stay in touch with all of the employees in the company. The larger we grew the more difficult it became. And not only was it difficult for me personally to feel connected to all of the employees, but it was also difficult for the employees to feel connected to the company and to me and to the vision that I had for where we wanted to take our business.
It was also difficult to find a way to share the values that I stood for and the values I wanted our company to stand for (such as integrity, respect, going the extra mile, etc), and so two years ago in August I made the decision that I would start writing a daily message to my employees. My teenage daughter nicknamed my daily message “the CEO’s tweet to her peeps” and thus it began. Only thing was that it turned into more of a daily blog than a tweet, but nonetheless the name has stuck and for two years straight, without missing a single work day, (I even write a tweet when I am on vacation each day), I have written a blog to the employees.
Some days I write about my schedule of events at work, some days I write about the lessons I learn as a CEO, some days I write about our goals as a company, some days I write about my family, some days I write about my personal struggles in life, and some days I share inspirational things I have heard or learned. Some days, if you’re really lucky, you might get to read a tweet message from my 16 year old daughter, Ashley, who happens to write the funniest tweets ever and the employees love reading her messages the most. You never know if the tweet will be a fun story, an inspirational thought, or really important update about the company as each one is a little different. And so this blog has become the only way I can communicate effectively to the entire company to keep everyone in the loop and on the same page.
I have learned so much from observing the change in the company since I started writing the blog. It has been amazing to see how connected everyone has become together by keeping everyone in the loop and everyone on the same page. Employees have become more excited about the business because they now feel like they are part of everything going on each day. In addition, it has let everyone know exactly what the core values are and what matters to me as their leader. I can honestly say that the impact of writing a daily message to the employees has by far been the most impactful thing to my business, which has been a great lesson for me to learn. It wasn’t some magic formula that has made us successful…it has been simple communication. Humbling lesson for a leader to learn.
I want to welcome our newest office in MN. We are very excited to get to know all of you better. I am a firm believer in the saying that “In life you will realize that there is a purpose for everyone you meet. Some will test you, some will use you, and some will teach you. But most importantly…some will bring out the best in you.” Our hope and our goal as a company is that all of us will be those who bring out the best in each other…
Have a great day everyone!