Unrealistic. As our journey began, I’ll admit that I was a non-believer. Businesses don’t just drastically turn into fabulous wonderlands of happiness. However, my company was undergoing a transformation, a change that would not happen overnight. It was a discussion, not about changing who we were, but changing how we talked about ourselves. It was hard to grasp. I thought I understood the reason for paving the way with things like core values and forming triad meetings, but I couldn’t buy into a system I didn’t see.

Impossible. It was too much hope to create a place where everyone got along, worked on the same page and truly believed in the good that was coming from this reassessment of our company’s priorities.

Progression. It soon had become clear that this wasn’t just a ploy to make everyone seem happy. This was real. It was a commitment stemming from each individual’s attitude on how to become a better employee and a better person, all for the good of the company, the culture. Everyone started buying in, at their own time, in their own way. We had created a mystical force that would forever change my outlook on business and life.

Reality. It had happened, we had created a better place to work by simply speaking about ourselves differently. We had pushed our core values to the top. We created an environment where everything we did or said could be found between our first and tenth core value.

Magical. I had never experienced anything like this type of employment. Through this vision and action, a loyalty was created, not because of pay or position, but because we were a family – a team committed to each other to continue the possibility of a distinct, higher culture.

Realization. Just recently I was asked by a visitor to our office, “how do I take this back with me?” He was referring to our culture and the overwhelming feeling of, in my words, awesomeness that he had just experienced on a tour I had given. I was unprepared for the question being it was the first time I was ever asked. I stumbled through my thoughts and realized that there was really only one thing we did to start the avalanche. We had discussions. We talked about who we were and who we wanted to be to each other and our clients. It was the main difference from when I started my employment. I answered the gentleman by stating, “Be yourself, and talk about it. Don’t hide behind the feeling that you need to be a certain way. Everyone has their own culture, so you can’t have ours (chuckle chuckle). Find your own and bring it to the top of everything you do. Be adventurous and take chances with things other than what falls under plain business structures.” It was a proud moment for me to be the presenter of culture as opposed to the presentee.

Me. Through all of this, I had an unrealistic view by thinking that change was impossible. It was a roadblock I created in my own head. Once I was able to push aside my own resistance, progression came easily. I formed new avenues of thought for myself that allowed my co-workers to see that a growing culture had taken over me. I was living and working in an environment of a positive mainframe. I was always this way, only, I didn’t understand how to make it a reality. I am magical, my team is magical. All we had to do was piece it together. I have just recently had the realization that it all started with me. Just as it started with each person who dove into the acceptance of discussing who they were and who they wanted to be. As individuals we each made the choice to move forward as a team. The ride hasn’t stopped for us yet, and it never will.

Written by James Hodge, Natural Partners