It’s Not What You Know, but Who You Know

coffee conversation webJust a few short weeks ago, all Human Resources employees at FLVS met with our President and CEO, Julie Young, for a focus group discussion.  It was an honor just to be sitting in the same room with our esteemed leader, but it was even more of a treat when she actually asked each of us for our opinions on a smattering of pressing matters.  Julie got to know each of us, inquiring about our day-to-day likes and dislikes, and intermittently took notes on a notepad while sipping her coffee.

We spoke about the recent changes in the structure of FLVS, the ups and downs of public school life, and the optimistic goals we have set for ourselves.  We each told stories about funny things that happen around the office, aggravating things that hold us back from completing our work, and heart-warming things that candidates and other FLVS employees say to us.  At one point, the conversation turned to a discussion regarding FLVS Ambassador opportunities.  Several people chimed in to offer their suggestions—one of my co-workers mentioned that she wears her FLVS t-shirt when she attends her daughters’ dance recitals and another person affirmed that she has been stopped in a grocery store while wearing her FLVS polo shirt.  Then, Julie offered up a story of her own.  She mentioned that her husband sometimes wears his FLVS t-shirt while they are milling around town on the weekends.  She said that people often stop and ask him what it’s all about.  She steps back and listens quietly while her husband talks about all the amazing things that FLVS stands for—student-centered learning, innovation in education, and building a stronger future.

So, what did I learn from our HR Focus Group encounter?  I learned two things.  First of all, it is important for any CEO to listen to her employees and really get to know them—an organization is only as strong as the buy-in she garners from each team member.  And, secondly, it is even more important to be on your best behavior at all times!  You never know when the CEO of an award-winning, innovative company is listening to you ask her husband about her organization.  In our very virtual world, sometimes it is not obvious who you’re speaking to, or who is standing by, quietly taking it all in.

Post by Kristen Stone, former FLVS Team Lead Staffing Coordinator

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