Values of Me and We

The same words can have very different meanings for different people.

Take values for instance. Values mark an individual’s character, but can also group like-minded people together. We define tech companies by their value propositions, and at the same time, we stress about their market valuation. Value, what it means, and how it is perceived, is the ominous demigod that hangs over the technology industry.

While some values cannot be controlled exclusively by a company’s leadership, there are foundational values that cement any company’s success. For example, understanding employees’ values, defining a company’s values, and seeking to find a match between the two in every hire is critical to the long-term stability and success of any enterprise. When an employee can “swipe right” and approve of a company’s values, a long term commitment is founded between employee and company.

I have worked in the technology industry for close to 8 years. I started as an analyst, and worked my way up to a director of a large ecommerce player. Big data, mobile, reviews, social shopping, search, and diverse verticals were all part of my tool belt, and I count myself lucky to have worked with talented leaders and engineers throughout my career. This diversity also helped to define me: I required variety from my next employer to stay engaged. Hence, why I found working with Binc and their client-based model immediately appealing. Variety very often propels growth, facilitating new experiences and keeping perceptions fresh and competitive.

The journey from initial interview to the first weeks at Binc illuminated how crucial values are to a company. Not only to its success, but also to give it a unique edge in the market. Binc has worked with some of the most interesting technology companies the industry has had to offer. In that time, I believe Binc’s values have been informed by the companies they have had the privilege to work with closely. The intelligence of the companies they have served has informed Binc’s own values, and the diversity of said intelligence has given them strength and breadth of character.

Whether I could do the job I was interviewing for was explored, but not necessarily emphasized. What was emphasized was what type of person I was, and what type of values I had about work, contribution, and teams. Submitting a questionnaire about these values, and discussing them with the panel throughout my interview, showed me something that Binc as a talent leader not only brings to their clients, but also directs to their own internal hires: know the candidate intimately. Know who they are, how they think, and if they match the task and company at hand. Knowing if a person can do a job is very different from knowing who a person is, and the latter will always tell you the former. Know the person, and it will tell you what you really seek to understand.

While the individual is important, what can really determine his/her success is the degree to which he/she can remain humble and work well within a team structure. Having worked in technology as long as I have, I have seen my fair share of large egos that can derail a team with their relentless “me-me-me” demands. A successful team member knows his/her value, but also sees and respects the value of teammates as well as acknowledges the limits of his/her knowledge and abilities. While I had worked in technology for years, I had never been a recruiter. But I knew the value that recruiters and talent teams play in building the DNA of a company and setting it up for success. I knew what I could contribute, but I also value what the top players at Binc uniquely offer to our clients and to me as I continue to grow and learn.

In the end, it is all about the healthy ebb and flow from Me to We. Who you are as an employee, and how you can successfully contribute to a team. Not every team has a healthy heartbeat. When startup mentality is in your DNA, and you are relentlessly self aware of your values, I believe the ebb and flow from Me to We is healthy. Some of my fondest working days were from my early days in a startup, and I am reminded of those memories every day at Binc.

Know the values of your company, know your own values, and make sure you can confidently “swipe right” when you find the right match.

Matthew Krajewski