Put your back into it!
Welcome back to our 4th installment in the Tartan Values series where we are taking a break from window washing to explore what makes Men In Kilts a great company. Last week we talked about integrity, but this week we get to explore an even more unique value within our company.
When I was first introduced to the values here at Men In Kilts, this was the one that stuck out the most because well, it’s just that awesome. I love the spirit of it and you can definitely feel it engrained in our business. This value? It’s called Gumption!
You may be asking yourself what is Gumption? Well technically it is working hard and taking bold initiative, but really it is a word that describes how you go about conquering your goals and stepping up when faced with challenges.
I thought it would be helpful to highlight this value through another narrative, a story that describes exactly what we mean when we use the word Gumption here at Men In Kilts.
Gareth had a bit of a nomadic early life, growing up in South Africa, immigrating to Canada, moving to South East Asia (where he graduated high school) and finally returning to Canada to pursue university. Living in so many cool places inspired Gareth’s love for the outdoors. Some of his favourite pastimes include rock climbing, mountaineering and even ice climbing; all of which are extremely difficult tasks requiring loads of hard work and perseverance. Participating in these activities eventually led Gareth to work as a high rise window cleaner because of his experience with ropes and rigging. Window Cleaning during the 2010 Vancouver Olympics is where he was first introduced to Men In Kilts.
During Gareth’s early days learning rock climbing and mountaineering, working hard was engrained in him. In those types of sports you need a goal to get to the top. “Along the way there are obstacles, mental/physical challenges, ups and downs and weather to take on, ” says Gareth, “overcoming these challenges unlocks a feeling of accomplishment that is extremely satisfying because your hard work got you there.”
This is the kind of hard work and bold initiative that has flowed into every aspect of Gareth’s life, everything he does he leaves it knowing, “I did the best job I could.”
When I asked Gareth how he teaches Gumption to his employees he responded that he leads by example. This is definitely one of the best ways to show and relate to this value, but he also added something else that I haven’t heard before. “Gumption is a value I hold high and true to myself, I find it very powerful to acknowledge a technician who is taking bold initiative.” This is a great way to follow through with your employees and show them how you want your company to run. That feeling of encouragement Gareth provides to his staff can carry them through a lot and make them work that much harder and be even bolder when taking initiative.