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November 06, 2014

3 Phrases to Never Say to Our CEO

In conversations with candidates who ask, “What is it REALLY like to work at East West?” my brain always defaults to a quick chat I had one morning with our CEO, Scott Ellyson.

Andy-Artwork-2

I have the above photo hanging in my office. Looking at this picture Scott said, “This is great!” I told him one of my favorite things (and there are many) about working at East West is I never hear, “Well, we’ve always done this way before”.  I mean NEVER.  For a guy who worked with and for Fortune 100s along the way that phrase was used more often than, “same page, value add,” and a dozen other buzzwords that provided little or no true value.

Scott and I agreed that “We’ve always done it that way before” is tops on our back-of-neck hair raising terms.  The conversation continued.

“My second least favorite saying is, “It’s not MY job,” continued Scott.  Then we shared why with each other and I quoted my favorite axiom from Robert Frost, “The World is full of willing people.  Some willing to work and those willing to let them.”

You see as company filled with Type A ‘do-ers’ there is no job that most of us are not willing to do.  It’s just part of our culture.  We are about growth, success, and fun.  So some days you may find yourself moving boxes even though your degree is in History, Graphic Design, of Electrical Engineering.

Just before our four minute chat ended, Scott turned before walking out of my office.  “Andy," he said, “to round out my top three, the other phrase that makes me squirm in my seat is ‘Well, I tried my best.’”

I know what Scott meant as I know he likes to challenge you in a very positive way.  He may ask about process or methodology but I can assure you that saying you tried your best will be met with a question or two.  To give a quick analogy let’s go back to 6th grade math.  You may provide the right or wrong answer, but a good teacher will ask you to “show your work.” 

So there you have it.  If you find yourself in a conversation with Scott or if you are trying to join our competitive, challenging, transparent team, please avoid these top three phrases that will end your conversation before it begins!

Want to learn more about East West and who we are? Read Our Story here and download our FREE White Paper below, "10 Lessons We've Learned in Over 10 Years of Contract Manufacturing."

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Filed Under: Culture