I was lucky to be at WD-40 office and meet Garry Ridge, their well known CEO, this past week. I was attending Happiness at Work Conference held by Woohoo Inc. founded by Alexander Kjerulf. It was a wonderful match: talking about happiness at work and being at the premises of a great company that implements it.
I do engagement surveys because of my work and I have not seen anything like their numbers before. One of the best questions you can ask employees is "How happy or proud are you to work there?" Look at their number above in the picture; 99% of them say they love to tell they work for WD-40. That is absolutely amazing.
What is the secret sauce then?
Having an amazing leader who has high level of self-awareness, who does not act with his ego, who knows leadership has changed drastically in the past decades and dares to step into this new era as one of the pioneers, who cares about his people genuinely, who has an office as big as anybody else with only his first name written on the door, and many more qualities I cannot even list here. We all know it takes a special kind of person to be a servant leader.
Having a real purpose beyond profit: "We exist to create positive lasting memories in everything we do." Think about it. They manufacture multi-purpose lubricants and their why has nothing to do with it. They call their people their tribe. Only in their "what", you can find more about their product.
They know #values, #passion, and #purpose can create amazing results. They know profit is a by-product, not the main goal.
Our world needs more leaders like Garry Ridge, there is no question about it. Even when you know their story for a very long time, to meet him in person and see the environment they created very thoughtfully with their tribe's input is very inspiring.
I do not get to meet people like him every day. Here is proof of how happy I was to meet him in front of their value statements - which are not there only to look good but to be guidance in their daily work.
Thank you for being an exceptional human being and helping people like me to prove putting people first and having a purpose that benefits all stakeholders is good for our world and for our business.