Thursday, April 17, 2014

It's important to like the people with whom you work.

I've learned that it's important to me to work with people that I like to be around. When considering a job change, or when considering a new hire, it's important to me to find a good cultural fit.

That doesn't mean that I want to hire only people who are similar to me. It's actually quite the opposite. I know what my skill set is, and I know that it's not complete. I try to surround myself with smart people who have the skills that I lack. I also believe it's important to be around people whose life experiences are different than mine. I enjoy that environment because we each bring a different point of view. And, together we can develop solutions which are better than any which we would have developed individually. It also makes for enlightening conversations.

I've learned that the same applies to my social life. I embrace being with people who have been married for a long time. And I especially appreciate people who speak well of their spouse. A wise man once taught me that when I vowed to "honor my wife" a couple of decades ago, I promised that I will always treat her with dignity and respect, in public, in private, in her presence and in her absence. So I will never refer to her as "My Old Lady" or complain of her imperfections. I am committed to be and grateful to be her husband, so I refer to her as "My Bride", and I speak of her virtues.

I believe that the common thread in my professional and personal relationships is a shared set of values. It is important to me to be with people who are different than me, sometimes smarter than me, and willing to share their wisdom, experiences, and values.