24 Jul Beyond the Job Title
Beyond the job title: blurring the boundaries between “work” and “play”
I’ve never been much of a rule follower. I like to do things my way – especially when that involves reinventing something in a way that’s clearly going to benefit my team.
Creating these “unconventional” win-wins is just how I approach everything – and I think the ultimate win-win is to be able to be yourself (I mean really, REALLY be yourself) at work. This is the ethos that’s captured in our second company value here at MMD, which is “Be who YOU are”.
The way this plays out for our three-person team is that we get to show up to work without needing to “pull it together”, or hide any part of ourselves. I believe that as human beings, we should embrace our individual weirdness, and not have to suppress it just to get a job done or be perceived as “professional”. In fact, I feel like the more you can let your freak flag fly at work, the more productive and efficient you’ll be!
Take my daily dance breaks that I film for our social media accounts, for example. Twirling around in our warehouse to ‘80s power ballads, I don’t exactly look like your typical CEO, yet I post my dances on Instagram anyway. Because I want to give people a reminder that they should feel free to be who THEY are, and approach their work in a way that inspires and excites them, outside of the stereotypes that may come with any particular job title.
I think the most powerful aspect of our “be who YOU are” philosophy is that it translates into fulfilling your work duties the way YOU would want to experience them. One part of this is that when you’re part of the family at MMD, you get to be called whatever you want. I’m the Head Honcho, Paul is our Road Warrior, and Amy is our Warehouse Gremlin. It literally says these job titles on our business cards, and I’m not even going to pretend I don’t get a kick out of that!
The other part of this is that when you have permission to show up authentically while completing a task or dealing with a customer, you end up doing a more thorough and caring job, and feel more fulfilled. “Working” becomes an organic, FUN process, and you feel energized by what you’re doing, rather than drained. Our customers sense this, and keep coming back to buy from us!
So, clearly I am all about giving people the freedom to be themselves at work, but what do my staff think? I asked them the following question. Here’s what they had to say in response:
In what way does MMD honor our #2 value, Be who YOU are?
Amy (our Warehouse Gremlin, AKA Warehouse Assistant): By accepting everybody and allowing them to be themselves. Like with me, everybody here is fine with the fact I walk in wearing either geeky/nerd shirts or automotive shirts, or the fact that I will constantly talk about Magic, The Gathering. It’s just accepted. Honestly, MMD’s Be who YOU are is being yourself and being accepted for it.
Paul (our Road Warrior, AKA Delivery Driver): I am a “family first” person. At MMD, we work together to make things work. I believe in being fair, helpful, and supportive to fellow employees and customers, and MMD encourages and supports that work ethic.
Imagine what you could create through your business if your team felt this free to be themselves? 🙂
The folks who inspire me everyday: