Some things never change: First impressions are important, and Culture is King.
Everyone knows first impressions are important. It’s a life lesson that is applicable in any situation: relationships, first day of school, or work. I recently began working at Ambassador. The time has really flown by; not that I didn’t expect it would, because time always does — but this really flew by. It’s important to remember that first impressions go both ways, and while I can’t convey the impression I’ve made on Ambassador, I can certainly talk about the impression Ambassador has made on me.
One question I get asked a lot is “How do you like it so far?”. Automatically, I think to myself, “Compared to what?”. The only thing I can compare it with is my last job, which I was at for roughly 3 and a half years. I had great colleagues there, ones I built relationships with and with whom I’d love to work with again. At Ambassador, it’s the same exact thing: great coworkers who are super committed to their craft and are willing to be vulnerable enough to build relationships (even with the HR guy).
So what’s different? There are two things that stand out in my mind that have made my experience so enjoyable during my first 60 days. One is the uniqueness of Ambassador’s culture, and the second are the individuals who lead the way.
1) The Uniqueness of the Embassy
I’ve heard one question more than any other in the countless number of interviews I’ve done over the years: “What is the culture like?”. That is a very difficult question to answer! Most people are looking for a response that resembles “We’re like a big family” or “We work hard and play hard”… something generic like that. Being in the tech space for the last 4+ years, I know the interviewees want me to talk about a relaxed dress code, “Summer Fridays”, microbrews in the refrigerator, or the crown jewel of all culture assessments: a ping pong table. All of that stuff is cool, and certainly holds its merits. In fact, my ping pong game has greatly improved since working here (just ask my coworkers).
For me, however, culture is something different. It goes well beyond the aforementioned things that certainly add to it, but don’t make it unique. It comes directly and solely from the people that make up the culture. A culture is a collection of individuals who all work towards the same common goal and who actively support our values in every decision they make. That is where a culture becomes unique, because no company has the same individuals or values. It has been an awesome surprise to see my coworkers bought into making Ambassador the #1 relationship marketing software in the world. I have witnessed first hand people acting out our values in real time without them knowing it. It’s part of our DNA. Leadership, in turn, rewards those who live out the values in weekly huddles. Which leads me to my second point.
2) Leadership Is Servanthood
It’s important for leadership to add to the company culture just as much as the employees. Ambassador’s leadership team leads by example with a spirit of servanthood. They provide feedback to all employees, while also holding everyone accountable. At some organizations leaders will take a back a seat and let their staff set the culture and embody its values, because that’s what they’ve been told to do. They’re not doing themselves any favors. All teams look for leadership to set the tone when it comes to this stuff. Our leadership does this by providing radical candor, embracing it’s OUTCARE values, and creating an environment where ideas are heard and accepted.
It’s early, and although all signs point to it being a great fit for me, there’s still a lot to learn, get accustomed to, and fail at. The company has a lot of HR needs that I’m looking forward to making an impact on, one day at a time.
If this sounds like the culture you’ve been looking for, come join me and the rest of the diplomats here at Ambassador. We’re hiring!