I’m two weeks in and at the moment (and not for long) the newest member of the growing Kaleidoscope team. I answered a job advert that specified kindness as the primary skill required for this job.
I joined from a career spent in consulting (the guys who take your watch and tell you the time), where everyone’s leaving email always mentions “The People” as the number one thing they are going to miss when moving on. I made some amazing friends in my formative years in consulting, and found mentors and colleagues who I will always learn from and value. But, I may have found my tribe. A place where our Tuesday planning session involved a discussion about our mission. We added bold, creative, revolutionary, improving people’s lives, innovative and ordinary magic to a list of ways to describe who we are and what we want to do. But it’s not just going to happen because we want it to. And there are lots of existential conversations required to resolve questions of ownership and responsibility, of pro bono projects versus paying for coffee and corner offices, and growth and challenge. But at our heart we will remain kind first and foremost.
When thinking about how we want to be, of course we talk about the type of work we want to do. And we asked ourselves – where do you draw the line. Would we do work for someone who was unkind? If we could tie the project back to our mission? If it funds the coffee? And I was reminded of a client I had on my very first project.
I was a bright, young, optimistic analyst, working on a project for a large government department. The deputy for the area I was working with was a battle scarred, realistic and very experienced long serving public servant. She was the kind of person, who when I said a cheery “Good Morning!” would reply with, “What’s so good about it.” We worked together for eighteen months. We fixed some problems. And at the end of the project, she hugged me goodbye. It wasn’t a gradual shift to comradery – a sudden hug back, a surprising and wonderful end to our time together.
You can always be kind. It is always possible. Watch out for some ordinary magic…