As a CEO, one of my biggest jobs is to oversee a culture that represents our core values of resepect, perseverance, an ownership mentality, constant and never-ending improvement, and building things we're proud of. I believe it's the duty of corporations to be more than just a profit machine. I think they owe it to their team to build an ecosystem where the employees can build friendships and skills that last a lifetime.
I teach my team that the company will always continue to evolve, and people will come and go. But while a team member is here, we want to see them learn, grown, become better, make friends, hit goals, and become an all around better human being. And if we can build a culture like that, everyone that comes into the company will leave more confident and empowered than when they came in.
I also believe that the younger generation will seek out companies that share this viewpoint. They have seen the downfall of CEO's and companies – from Enron, to MCI, to the 2008 bank collapse. And this has been reflected in society with the Occupy movements. Future talent expects more out of their companies than what the old guard is ready to give. Thus, the best future talent will be attracted not just to the companies that pay the highest, but to the companies that pay well AND share the same belief systems as the people they wish to attract.
I love seeing one of our team members spreading their wings. While I'm not thrilled they are leaving the company, I'm always happy to see them chasing their dreams, knowing that TakeLessons helped them along the way.
One of our members, August Mao, is leaving tomorrow to pursue an acting career in LA. We wish him the best and hope he gives us a shout out on the Red Carpet one day.
We encourage team members to write their own goodbye. Here's what August had to say. I think it speaks to the type of culture I want to have and reinforces our belief that companies should be a place where people can flourish.
I cannot believe that the day has finally come for me to part ways with all of you. These past ten months have truly been an incredibly eye-opening experience for me. There is something extremely special about this place, something that I will remember to take with me as I embark onto the next chapter in my life.
Working here at Takelessons and meeting each and every single one of you has gifted me with new perspectives. In more ways than one, you have all given me hope. As I venture out into this world, I am hopeful that I will encounter others who are equally as genuine and kind as all of you. I am hopeful that there will be others out there who share the same positive energy and constant optimism that all of you possess. In the future, I hope to again find myself within a community where individuals treat one another with the highest levels of respect, where the importance of friendship and comradery trumps that of the more superficial things in life. I sincerely hope to find another family like you.
I have learned that life will not always be kind to us, and that it certainly will not always go in the direction that we have planned it to. Wherever I end up, there will surely be more obstacles – ones that will be both emotionally and physically challenging. And yet, it gives me confidence to know that somewhere on this big blue earth, I will always have a group of phenomenally wonderful individuals to come back to. From the very bottom of my heart, I want to thank each and every single one of you for all that you have done for me. Thank you for making me into a better person.
Please don’t hesitate to contact me if there is ever anything I can do to help. I look forward to keeping in touch with all of you and will make sure to keep you updated on my journey!