I mentioned in my last post that I had spent an entire day last week training a group of individuals at Linkedin in Sunnyvale, CA in the Unshackled Leadership philosophy. I mentioned that I was exposed to the amazing lifestyle that exists at companies like Linkedin. At the lunch break, we all went up to the cafeteria where everyone in the company can have breakfast, lunch and dinner. How smart that is on the part of management. You could tell how much the company cares about their employees and how much the employees enjoy working for the company. I can guarantee you that the folks at Linkedin are not some of the 70% of the American workforce that is checked out or actively disengaged.
Think about it. I say in the Introduction of Unshackled Leadership that “After 20+ years of working in and observing organizations of every type and size, I have noticed a theme all successful ones share. They have enthusiastic, confident, optimistic, appreciative and happy people who work together on behalf of a future they have all committed themselves to.” That is not a complicated formula for success but so few companies qualify. Probably the biggest reason is that most leaders don’t get it. But the folks at Linkedin clearly do and that’s why the company is growing so rapidly and successfully.
I don’t know about you but if I showed up to work every morning and the company coffee shop in the lobby was waiting to make me my morning beverage which I could then take up to the dining room to have with my breakfast of choice, I’d feel pretty special. And then, if I could go to the same dining room to have lunch with my co-workers and dinner if I chose, that would surely add to my feeling appreciated.
Furthermore, the company has a clear and exciting vision, which everyone knows about, and there is an environment of frequent collaboration where people can express their ideas on how to fulfill that vision.
I actually used to think it was challenging to create an environment where the company fulfilled my definition of a successful company. I now realize that’s not so. Just do things that have your people feel cared for and let them all know exactly where you’re going and their role in getting you there. You might think hiring a world class chef, building a company cafeteria, and feeding your staff three meals a day is a huge commitment. But if Linkedin is any evidence that such an investment will reap a huge reward, then go for it.