Koné Consulting had its annual company retreat in July against this beautiful backdrop in Seabeck, WA.
We had a wonderful time enjoying the bounty that is western Washington – kayaking, roasting marshmallows over a fire pit, exploring the beach and surrounding forest, but most importantly, we bonded even more deeply as a group.
I spend a lot of time thinking about how fortunate I am to get paid for doing something I love and feel passionately about, but what makes it even better is to have teammates who all sincerely and deeply care for each other. That doesn’t mean we don’t disagree or have heated conversations, but those happen with mutual respect and genuine care for each other and just seems to bring us even closer.
We spent some time at the retreat considering what we believe Koné Consulting is and what we want for it to be – what our values are, if you will. We agreed on the following list and we’re excited to share what these values really mean to us as a company in future blog posts.
- Self-care = improved customer service
- Teach clients to fish
- Good/valued tools
- Do no harm
- Mission driven
- Big hearts
- Agile - ability to pivot
Our fearless leader (aka owner and president), Alicia Koné, said that I embody our values of accountability and trustworthiness. What a nice compliment…but who would want a business manager who is unaccountable and untrustworthy (perhaps some politicians, maybe), but I digress.
For me, organization helps me be accountable. I use several tools to help me with this, including my Outlook calendar (with reminders galore) and, most importantly, my Kanban board. Visualizing and prioritizing my work is something I’ve been doing my whole adult life, but I am thankful that I no longer have to use a giant paper desk calendar, Post-it notes, a heavy, 3-ring binder type paper planner, etc. Now I have fancy electronic tools to help me manage my work, including one being developed by our company…more will be shared on this over the next few months.
To me, accountability is committing to whatever I’m going to do, doing the very best I can and making it happen in the time frame I’ve agreed to. For me it also means that if I fail, I am willing to stand up and take responsibility for what went wrong and commit to learning what happened so that I don’t repeat my mistakes in the future.
There is a lot tied up in this word for me. It is not only about telling the truth…it is also about being willing to tell the truth, even when it’s not necessarily what others want to hear. It may be bad news; it may be that you can’t deliver something you promised when you promised it; it may be that you really screwed something up (ever sent a private e-mail, but accidentally replied to all?). But by stepping up and taking ownership of your mistakes, or being willing to share bad news, you do a few things. You build the trust relationship with those you’re sharing the information and you reinforce that you are accountable, even in difficult situations. It also creates an opportunity to have a conversation about how to improve the process so that it can be more successful in the future.
Another component of trustworthiness that I personally value, but it seems more and more elusive these days, is the ability to keep private information private. It is easy to fall into the traps of wanting to have something exciting to talk about, or to show that you are “in the know, ” or even to feel like you can trust whomever you’re sharing the confidential information with. The bottom line is, it’s not your information to share. Would you want your confidential information being shared without your consent or knowledge?
Kone Consulting is a small business and we are building our reputation based on what we show the world each day. For our customers to say we are accountable and trustworthy are not lofty goals, but our expectation. Can you say the same about the companies you hire?
Watch for future posts on our company values at www.koneconsulting.com/blog.