The Well-Cultured Employee: A Tribute to One of Our Own
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Team members who live their company’s culture inspire us all to be better
What’s it like to work with an employee who’s a great cultural fit? The Entrepreneurial Operating System (EOS) says team members who are a good fit understand and embrace a company’s core values. But the best employees also have an indescribable quality that inspires the entire team—it’s hard to define, but when you see it, you know.
Lynn O’Brien of Statlinx (a longtime CCG client that coordinates scheduling and phones for healthcare professionals) is the most well-cultured employee I’ve ever worked with. Statlinx’s core values (dependable as the sun; make Mama proud; teamwork makes the dream work; create world-class experiences) define how she does her job and how she interacts with everyone around her.
But Lynn does more than live her company’s core values: she’s the heart of the business. Her enthusiasm is genuine and contagious. I’ve had the honor of working with hundreds of well-credentialed senior level executives during my long business career—none of them have the same inner spark as Lynn.
Over the past couple of years, Lynn has suffered from cancer and all the challenges that come along with it. Yet she remained uncomplaining, always quick to step up and do whatever was needed. A couple of weeks ago, Lynn passed away. While I’ve been devastated by the news, my grief doesn’t compare to what her team is feeling; they loved her with all their hearts.
In a time of cynicism and negativity, Lynn always reminded me what it meant to be a truly good person. Her spirit lifted mine whenever we were together. Wherever she is, I hope she’s beaming with pride to see how much she affected the lives of everyone around her.
I’m sharing this not only to honor Lynn but also to show you the importance of building a strong culture. If you’re an entrepreneur, your business is a big part of your life. You can choose to spend that life with people who share your values—but you’ll have to work at it.
You will face challenges. It may seem easier to keep employees who aren’t a good fit than to replace them. Don’t give up. The benefits to your profits and efficiency are a given. But the biggest benefit is surrounding yourself with people who inspire one another to be better every day.
So here’s your homework, and make sure you do it:
–Look at your organization and take note of anyone who doesn’t measure up to your company’s values (if you are an EOS company, use the People Analyzer) –Don’t overthink it: if they don’t measure up, they don’t measure up –Put them on a 3-strike Performance Improvement Plan, or –Just cut them –Don’t make excuses: you’ve got to make difficult decisions for the company’s benefit
Your job as a leader is to build a company of people who embody your values—nobody else should make the cut. No other responsibility is more important than this one!
Lynn, thanks for the reminder of what a wonderful team member looks like and for the encouragement to continually raise the bar. It’s a great lesson for all of us. You will be missed.