How a Maniac’s Pledge Created a Better Business

Creating Company Culture Through Your Vision, Values and Accountability

7 mins read

A seven-minute watch that may have you rethinking how you are leading or not leading your company. Garry Ridge, CEO of WD-40 gives a compelling speech on his company’s vision, values and what accountability looks like for his team. Watch and listen as he discusses how these pillars boost company-culture and make it safe to fail forward for both the employees and leaders.

Play Video

The BIG Questions
Today, most companies have a vision and set of values. They can usually be found written down and forgotten somewhere on an ‘about us’ page or under the owner’s bio. The reason that those values and vision exist is to help guide a company in its actions and expectations, for the employees, but also for the customers. So, the BIG question here is, “Are your company’s vision and values visible for all to see, and are they routinely being used in decision making?”

seven-minute watch that may have you rethinking how you are leading or not leading your company. Garry Ridge, CEO of WD-40 gives a compelling speech on his company’s vision, values and what accountability looks like for his team. Watch and listen as he discusses how these pillars boost company-culture and make it safe to fail forward for both the employees and leaders.

The BIG Questions
Today, most companies have a vision and set of values. They can usually be found written down and forgotten somewhere on an about us page or under the owner’s bio. The reason that those values and vision exist is to help guide a company in its actions and expectations, for the employees, but also for the customers. So, the BIG question here is, “Are your company’s vision and values visible for all to see, and are they routinely being used in decision making?

Play Video

There was a lot of information in that seven-minute video and you may have paused to write the Maniac Pledge down, well, I apologize if you have, because I’ve also done that hereI did this so you could take a moment to give it another read through. 

 “I am responsible for taking action, asking questions, getting answers, and making decisions. I won’t wait for someone to tell me. If I need to know, I am responsible for asking. I have no right to be offended that I didn’t ‘get it sooner’. If I am doing something others should know about, I am responsible for telling them.” – Maniac Pledge 

Garry Ridge has done a wonderful job creating this accountability creed with his team. By setting these clear expectations of his team, he is able to empower them. The Maniac Pledge gives each employee a chance to lead in their own right and help each other become stronger through practice. They are free to do so without the worry or wasted resources of waiting around for upper management to make decisions or show them the way. This bottom-up leadership may seem like it gives too much freedom to the individual in a very large company, but their results speak for themselves. Having now watched Garry Ridge explain WD-40accountability model, does the Maniac Pledge look or sound familiar in your business? Are there things you would change? Would you use something similar within your business?

The Maniac Pledge could seem like a bit of a risk, leaving a lot of opportunity for mistakes as each employee is told to take action. This is especially true in a workplace where failures are not tolerated and this model would never succeed. Thankfully for the employees at WD-40, they thought of this and created a culture where mistakes are meant to be learned from and shared, not to be shamed and hidden. In reflection you may ask yourself, “Is your business a place where it is safe to fail forward and share “learning moments,” or a place where mistakes get swept under the rug in fear of the consequences?”

Final thoughts
A company whose product is compressed lubricant has successfully achieved their vision to “create lasting memories”. They were able to achieve this by creating a workplace where people actually wanted to be and work. Their methods may seem unusual, but, when they have an overall employee engagement rate of 94% it’s hard to argue with the results. Proving once again as many great business owners could tell you, business isn’t about the product it’s about the people and the fulfilling connections that business creates. 

By making your vision, values and expectations clear, you too can make it safe for your employees to take action and feel empowered. This is because the only way everyone gets “there,” is when everyone knows the destination they should be arriving at. Sure, some might take longer, or take unusual routes. But you can bet they will feel empowered to share what they’ve learned on their journey and everyone in your business will grow from the experience.

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