Everyone is CEO of something: Surprising inspiration from a valve company
I recently went to a client kick-off meeting with MOGAS Industries, a valve company that we are consulting for. It was a rainy, dreary day when we pulled up to a bright and welcoming campus.
Our tour began with the usual meet and greet, but soon took a surprising turn. On the walkway between the corporate office and the manufacturing facility, we were shown the company’s value wall. I’ve seen these things before, but this one was different. The words on the wall spoke to me. They were direct, and they were real. And every employee had signed his or her name at the bottom of the wall.
Everyone is CEO of something. This simple statement really struck me. It hit me that it is true, in so many aspects of life, and I’d never heard it put into those words. I’ve realized over the past few years, that people never really understand what other people’s jobs are - what they actually do day-to-day, what they are experts in. You walk into a party and someone asks, “So what do you do?” I’m a designer. “Oh, so you’re in fashion?” That’s when I smile and try to explain my role as a visual problem-solver to help companies deliver on their purpose. Staring at me glossy-eyed and a little confused, I go on to give examples like “I work for a branding firm. We make websites and logos and stuff.” The light comes back on. “Oh that sounds fun!” I shake my head.
As I follow our tour guide through the service center and manufacturing areas, I realize just how much there is to know about this machinery and how important it is that it all works seamlessly. The technology is staggering. Employees man futuristic robots looking for the most minute discrepancies and make absolutely sure that their product is perfect. You can tell how much pride they take in their work. I think of that phrase: Everyone is CEO of something. All these people are accountable. All these employees believe in what they’re doing and know that they make a difference. I liken them to doctors of industry, experts in their own role.
Everyone can do this. Everyone can be “CEO of something” in their own life, whether it’s a mother getting her kids out the door to school on time, an employee mastering a certain skill or a student putting in those extra study hours. We are all just people doing our best, and we are all good at something. You may not realize how much you know until you try to explain it to someone else. Perspective. We all need to have some. Thank you, MOGAS, for reminding me of that.