When success happens, people tend to view the path leading up to that success with rose-colored glasses.
For those who actually experience the victory, forgetting the past can be blinding. For outside observers, the the tendency is to assume smoother sailing than actually happened and idealize a parts of a story that aren’t rooted in reality.
Any healthy company will walk a path of difficult discussion at some point, and The Iron Yard is no different. Here’s a letter I wrote explaining this to our team:
I wanted to clarify a few things that are critically important for our company.
Disagreements happen because everyone at The Iron Yard really cares about what we are doing
When disagreements arise, it’s *so* important for us to remember that we are all on the side of the student—we are fighting for the same thing. We just happen to disagree on how to go about it.
That’s normal. We are all talented, passionate, entrepreneurial people. We won’t agree on everything all of the time. That’s a clear symptom of a great company: people free to share their opinions and hash things out. Looking at every angle will make all of us better.
This won’t be the last difference of opinion that happens. As a team we will make good decisions and bad ones—it’s part of growing and learning. Sometimes our personal opinions will be the direction things go, other times we will have to concede.
As long as we keep in mind that we are all fighting for amazing life change in our students and handle these conversations in a civil, respectful manner, it will be a good, normal healthy process.
I’ve learned a ton just by hearing the incredibly smart things said on both ends of this discussion.
As a company, we are committed to giving everyone the freedom to do awesome things and make the decisions that go along with that freedom
I want to be crystal clear about this: throughout this entire discussion there was never any intention of sealing the deal with a dictatorial decision.
My fear is that some of you may have thought, “oh crap, some people don’t like this decision so they are going to drop the Iron Hammer and overrule it” without considering the other side of the equation. That is not accurate. People have strong opinions, and some of us are really direct about brining them to the table 🙂
This company is the people who make it up—we deeply respect the opinions of everyone we’ve hired.
At the end of the day, the Team X ((1. The letter in this post has been edited so as not to include specific names or team names.)) needs to make the best decision for their team and students—that decision comes out of a desire to provide the best, highest quality, most amazing experience for our students.
Please know that the emphasis of this discussion was around the excitement of collaboration and encouraging the new cohorts in general. I am absolutely positive that everyone in the company supports that effort and it will happen in many amazing ways.
Please be honest and share how you feel
Problems often arise in companies because people don’t share how something makes them feel, don’t feel like they are heard/valued/respected, etc.
We need to fight that tendency with everything we have. That begins with each one of us bringing our thoughts to the table when we feel we need to.
I’ve said this before, but it’s a privilege to work with each and every one of you. It’s a privilege to learn from this team every day.
Let’s keep fighting to be the best code school in the world…disagreements and all 🙂