We spend a lot of time monitoring our own success and comparing ourselves to others. We're constantly proving ourselves to be the best entrepreneurs, philanthropists, lawyers or doctors, and yet climbing to the top can be a lonely journey. And what happens, at the "top?" We become uninspired, and all of this competition makes us incredibly disappointed in others.
So here we are, NGOs, businesses, hospitals, governments, full of a lot of "I's" and not a whole lot of "we."
The system is broken, but not far from repair. The solution is simple: Let's talk to each other. Let's share collective triumphs, not just individual winds. Let's become leaders, as well as collaborators.
In September, 2013, I launched Soma with my team in San Francisco. We have grown from a single idea, to a 10-person company. This expansion was not without growing pains. As we have grown to a group of 10, it's been an adjustment of going from my own goals, to collective team goals. It's still about getting results, but it's about being a community, too.
In a few short months, Soma has grown in scope and vision, but we've managed to maintain a culture of teamwork, and a community that I'm incredibly proud of. Like many young companies, we are small. Many of our departments contain just one person, and we often need to remind ourselves to remember the we.
When we collaborate, the result is magical. When we communicate, the results are effective and efficient, and ultimately, ownership of projects and triumphs becomes communal.
Let's also remember the global we. When we began our partnership with charity:water, we learned that our triumphs as a company become global triumphs when we consider our global impact. We've made sure that our product is sustainable, and we've paid close attention to making sure that water is clean and accessible worldwide.
Three tips on how to create a tribal company culture:
1. Circle up. Once a week, gather your team together. Talk about your goals, your tensions and your triumphs as a company, and think about how every department is affected and involved.
2. Do more good. Focus not only your wins as a company, but also on your global impact. Partner with a charity, volunteer or work to reduce your carbon footprint.
3. Have fun. Have a company game night, cook dinner, start a running club or leave some time open on a Friday afternoon for a spontaneous outing. Maintaining a relaxed, friendly work culture is essential to good communication.
Join me in embracing the we. Let's be more productive, more effective and happier people.
Learn more about Soma and our company culture at Drinksoma.com