What the Values Mean to Me
Entrata has done a lot with the values over the years – we’ve written about them directly, written about those who live the values, created the values committee and also dedicated a whole week every year to the values. We wouldn’t have the same work culture at Entrata without the presence of the values, and they’ve shaped the way we interact with others. Those interactions have strengthened our understanding of the values as we see how others in the company live them.
First and foremost, the values have helped us properly communicate in the workplace. There are barriers to tear down and we can tear down our fair share of them at this point. One thing we’ve learned is that it’s not enough to make a plan and assign roles. A follow-up (a polite one, please and thank you) is always needed. Make sure to thoroughly explain what you want, and work with whomever you’re talking to (remember, a project isn’t something you drop off at the daycare. You need to actively be involved in its life). And if there’s a problem with anything at all, like scheduling, conflict with other projects, etc. you always bring it up ASAP so a solution can be found. And always, always ask questions or for clarification if you have any doubts.
Now, notice that little aside in the last paragraph about being polite. It’s a common misconception that you can’t delegate and be personable at the same time. It’s not a leader’s duty to be the next Kim Jong-Un, an unapproachable dictator obsessed with swiss cheese. On the contrary, to be a great leader, you must also serve those who are under you. Our values easily support that. You show everyone trust and respect when it comes to their ideas and when addressing their challenges, and they’ll respect you back and work hard. When you act with everyone in mind, you start to walk the walk, talk the talk. You figure out the proper work groove, get in the flow, and achieve your results.
That’s not to say that we don’t have fun. Really. Have you been paying attention to us? We are defined by the mullet descriptor, Business in the Front, Party in the Back. Yes, we take our work seriously but never ourselves. What’s life if you can’t laugh at yourself? If you can’t build shark fins for shark week, or bring llamas into the office for Halloween? Every meeting can be lightened up, every day brightened and there’s always an excuse to have a “fiesta” with your coworkers.
It’s that combination of studious and fun that keeps us at the top of the industry. That freedom to present our ideas and having them taken seriously, the freedom to take a break and foster creativity, is key to Entrata’s success. It’s always been key to my own success within the company. At this point they’re ingrained into my brain, and when I leave Entrata I’ll take it with me to other workplaces. The values really are a great life compass, and for anyone new to Entrata or anyone who’s been here for a while, be sure to familiarize yourself with the values and check yourself daily to see how you can do better and help keep up the company’s culture.