Here are excerpts of some of the messages and stories shared by Nerdery leadership throughout 2014 Core Values Week, starting with a Friday-before preview:
Friday, Oct 17 from Tom O’Neill, President:
My fellow Nerds – I am writing from the Inc. 5000 conference where we are being honored for the amazing growth you all have contributed to. As I packed up to leave for the airport I got a text from Mike Derheim asking to me to grab a book from his office. I didn’t recognize the book but there was an impressive list of leaders on the cover. As I skimmed the list my internal voice read “Ken Blanchard, Warren Buffet, Ira Flatow, Mike Derheim, Bill Gates… wait… what the, MIKE DERHEIM?” I quickly texted Mike back with some thoughts on how I felt about him not sharing this tiny little detail with me yet.
Always humble, Mike thought it was not important to share that he contributed to a book of essays along with some of the world’s most influential leaders. As I read his passage I went from shocked to moved pretty darn quickly. In Mike’s essay, he wrote a personal story about having faith in decisions that are grounded in core values. Now I want to share this edited-down excerpt with Mike’s permission from Marcia McMullen’s new book, “Because You Believed in Me, Vol 2; Contemporary Mentoring Stories”:
“Everyone should be so fortunate to have someone walk into their life and change it forever – someone who challenges them to see things differently. To think big but stay humble. Lucky for me I met Luke Bucklin. Luke believed in empowering people – and in our case, Nerds. He always said if you do the right thing, trust people and spread the leadership, the right things would happen. I could spend hours explaining things Luke taught me. I’ll always come back to one word, one which I believe defined Luke. That word is ‘faith.’ Echoing in my memory’s ear, I hear Luke saying things like, ‘Mike, don’t worry so much. We did the right thing.’ It took me a long time to realize what he meant and how revolutionary an idea it is to just believe – blindly, completely, totally – in your decisions and core values. I could’ve easily spent all my energy trying to figure out what the worst case scenario was, and how to avoid it. Luke dismissed the worst case immediately because he knew whatever we did was based on what we felt was right. That Luke could so gracefully navigate complex times by following relatively simple ideas – and faith – well, it gives me peace and always will.” - Mike Derheim
I love Mike’s reference to “relatively simple ideas” in his essay. Our core values are relatively simple ideas. Ultimately we all want to do the best we can to serve our customers and make this place great. We are more effective as a team when we all agree on what “the right thing” is. For us it is:
- Integrity in All Circumstances
- Solve Problems Pragmatically
- Win by Empowering People
- Be Humble
- Constantly Push Boundaries
I am very proud of how far we have come and incredibly excited about the next few years of our journey. We have a long, tough, exhilarating road ahead – many roads, really. Audacious goals. Lots more changes. Awesome challenges. We’ll confront challenges we don’t yet know exist and may not see coming, but on we go, armed with a vision we know by heart, and guided by core values that point a true direction. I for one, have faith that we all will do our best to do the right thing. Enjoy your weekend ladies and gentlemen, more to come.
– Tom O’Neill, President