One of our professional values at 60 Decibels is to “take the work personally.”
We define that as “We take pride in the work and deliver work that hits the highest standards. Anything we do reflects the best we can do.”
Because we’re a mission-driven organization, I think it’s easier for folks to take the work personally. Most of our team is here because the mission speaks to them. And, if we achieve our ambitions, the world will have changed: we will center the people who are the “beneficiaries” of social change work—whether done by nonprofits or companies, whether as customers, employees or suppliers—in the conversation about whether social change is happening. It’s rare to get the chance to be a part of something with this type of ambition.
But the idea of taking the work personally is bigger and more fundamental than any organization’s mission.
It’s a stance that we take.
A daily choice to care.
A daily choice to show up as a professional.
Which means deciding on living our own version of the U.S. Postal Services Creed, “Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.” Lots of things we don’t control will go wrong. Nevertheless, we will do our jobs.
A daily choice to honor the accountability we have to our colleagues.
Because we respect them and want to see them succeed. We do our work in partnership, as part of a collective. The work I do will either lift others up or pull them down. And this ripple effect plays out across our organizations, our clients, and the world.
Of course, this is all a lot easier to see when the people in charge remind us, when they connect the dots for us, when they help us draw a line between our role and organization’s mission and strategy.
But the connection exists either way, a direct line between:
Daring to give a damn.
The quality of what we produce.
How others feel when they interact with us.
And whether we are strengthening our culture and organization.
Every group is just a collection of its people, the stories they tell themselves and each other, and how they choose to act.
What choice will you make today?