Do you catch yourself just swimming with the stream, or do you rock the boat and swim against the stream when need be? This is my invitation for you to ponder how you can be yourself and stand up for something. What is your personal brand? What will your legacy be? What are the things that only you should do? What are the things in life that you want and need to make a stand for?
I am happy to say at work we have been swimming against the stream with a big payoff – high morale, engaged team members, and an increase in business. When we decided to be congruent with our values of our Triple Bottom Line (People, Planet, and Prosperity), which is essentially and win-win-win scenario for all stakeholders, we decided that where we work must resemble these values. We have one of the few if not still the only Green LEED Gold certified manufacturing buildings in Pennsylvania. Vendors, Customers, business leaders, government representatives (local and international) as well as school students alike have been inspired by coming and touring our facility. It has been nine years now since we moved into the building and we have had record numbers of visitors. The image and commercial impact is impossible to measure in a direct manner, but in many a conversation with people who have come to visit us they do mention how this has positively changed their path and how they view our products and us. “All” it took was becoming congruent with our values by constructing and moving into our building. Now everyone can touch, feel, and thus experience the difference. Work turns into having fun with purpose. To this day outsiders question whether or not such a work environment exists and even if it does, whether or not it is worth anyone’s time and money. Well, welcome to Utopia. It took quite a bit of effort swimming against the stream of common opinion and “best method” practices. Insiders can tell you that doing so is totally worth it.
Here are a few benefits if you decide build your own way of swimming against main stream:
- Without having to resort to polarization (good-evil) you take a stand and tell people where you stand.
- You will be recognized as a leader. You cannot lead from the rear of the pack; you do need to be one step ahead at least with your thoughts.
- Thinking about this will almost automatically make you a subject matter expert. That is a good position to have. Only when you do solid and objective research followed by offering your expertise freely will you be able to influence people.
- You will inspire people to do the same as you. You never know who listens to what you have to say.
- The more you practice, the less afraid you are of criticism by others. There are always people who value you and your input.
- All of this leads to a much richer and more balanced life. That can mean wealth too. The power of a brand fills the Web with business every day.
- All of the above leads to a great degree of sustainability.
Our building was featured in a PBS special a while back and our straw bale construction conference room was shown during the construction phase. Our section starts at minute 9.40min where you can see Aerzen USA’s manufacturing plant come alive. http://www.pbs.org/greenbuilders/watch-the-film.html Here is another link to a Youtube video where at minute 7:47 where you can see our strawbale construction conference room walls gets its start. Currently, we are expanding this facility owing to the growth stemming from swimming against the stream.