In getting ramped up for job training, I’ve been encouraged to look at different people’s calendars in the company and add myself to meetings I think would be beneficial, so everything from customer calls, internal product calls, engagement calls — you name it. I’ve been told to shadow as much as possible and refer to everyone’s calendars. One of our main company values is transparency. All our calendars are visible to all so that our colleagues can know what we’re doing and who we’re speaking with and what we’re working on. That all sounds like common sense, right?
Well, it isn’t really. Because where I came from, we had different people on sales and someone who was once on my own team who refused to make their calendars transparent. So if you looked at this guy’s calendar, instead of telling you what his meeting was and who he was speaking with, it would simply block out a time and say “busy.” If you’re working at an organization where people are supportive of one another and share information to help one another, why the hell would you make your entire calendar blocked from others to see? His response when we actually debated this? “I don’t want you to see when I’m at the doctor’s or getting my teeth cleaned!” That argument is so weak because you can just mark those specifically as “private.” Your work calendar is your work calendar, not your personal calendar. Your work calendar should be visible in a healthy organization. No one is asking you to make your private non-work life visible. At the “top” of that team I started on at my last company was someone who didn’t want to instill any values about transparency or trust in his team, so he stayed out of this conversation and said everyone could make their own decisions about this. It probably wasn’t apparent to him because he was dense and self-seeking, but something as seemingly trivial as this actually speaks volumes regarding the organization he is trying to lead and the culture he wants to instill. Until the last day, there was no real sense of “team” on that team. It was really sad.
My new company is by no means perfect, and every day I’m seeing things that could use improvement, but I never entered this place thinking it would be paradise. But to be frank, it actually does feel like a sort of paradise when you compare it to the last place where I spent 3.5 years. It still kills me when I think about it that I stayed there that long.