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2017-10-23 Hiring for culture or values.jpg
COMPANIES HAVE BEEN TALKING FOR YEARS about the importance of culture fit when hiring a new employee. But we’ve now discovered it can be a big trap.

When someone fits well into your culture, it means that they’re pretty much just like you. Which then leads to a homogeneous company, stifled creativity, and stagnation.

Not that you want to hire someone who hates your organization’s culture. But … you do want to stretch it.

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REACHING THE TOP can be exciting … but it’s also a lonely place. I’ve actually found that the fear of reaching goals can hold people back.

Because when you reach the top, what’s next?

I happen to believe that it’s the business equivalent of the “mid life crisis.” Is this all there is? Wasn’t life supposed to be glorious by now?

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STU CRAIR FOUNDED Digital Workshop Center in 2006 with a simple idea: to help people build useful skills, not just get degrees.

This great business delivers technical education: web design, graphic design, business administration, and so on. Their much-needed content is supported by training that’s always live, which means more personal attention to students in the room.

What tweaked my interest recently was an announcement that they’ve developed a partnership with Homeless Gear to provide technical training – for free – to people in their Hand Up program.

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A JOYOUS EASTER to all my Christian friends!

This is the most important day of the year. Not only for religious reasons, but for becoming a new person.

We all need that renewal. We’re fallen.

My wish is that you will find spiritual strength in this Easter season. When you’re stronger, your business will be too.

But first, chocolate!

GREAT FOOD IS EXPENSIVE these days, and can be totally out of reach for the struggling and homeless.

That’s why I was honored to speak with Mallory Andrews recently, the new executive director of FoCo Cafe here in our choice city.

You might have heard of the donation-based restaurant model. It’s a simple concept: eat what you want, and pay according to your ability and what you believe is fair.

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RECENTLY I WAS READING an interview with Jay Gould, CEO of Interface Corp. He has wonderful experience leading a variety of companies, large and small.

He described a trend he’s noticed called “purpose-washing.” He uses it to describe companies that slap a message of purpose on their outreach to employees because they’ve heard that Millennials want that kind of thing.

That’s like declaring “New and Improved!!!!” because you want something to say on the box that looks exciting.

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RUNNING A BUSINESS can feel pretty isolated.

Even when you’re surrounded by employees, teams, partners, suppliers, contractors … it can feel like the weight of the whole world is on your shoulders. Because all of them seem to look to you for direction and answers.

And you don’t want to burden your loved ones with business concerns: it seems unfair.

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GREYSTONE TECHNOLOGY is a local Information Technology (IT) outsourcing firm. Currently with 85 employees, they’ve been growing at a rapid clip for over a decade.

I had a chance to sit down with Peter Melby recently, who owns the company along with Jesse Armstrong. They formed the business in 2001 with the idea that this would be a fun and motivating environment for employees.

Which is what they’ve built. But there’s so much more to the story.

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PEOPLE OFTEN COMPLAIN that companies only worry about the current quarter, or even the current week.

I don’t care if you’re a one-person business, or a billion dollar mega-corporation. You care that the business is going to survive. For years, decades, even forever.

As a leader, your role is to plan for that future, to lay the groundwork and structure for enduring success. So don’t complain about the shortsightedness of the stock market, or the regulators, or your boss. It doesn’t help.

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YOUR PRIMARY VALUE as a leader is to give people direction, to align their work in order to achieve the large goals of the group.

But that’s the left-brain way of thinking. It’s fine and necessary as far as it goes, but it’s missing something.

Caring. Purpose. Passion.

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