As we begin the new year, I am often reminded of the abundance of blessings we have at The Bozzuto Group. Our business is stronger than ever, which is largely attributable to our collective efforts to create sanctuary and extraordinary experiences for those we serve. Best of all, we do this with a culture of kindness.
The concept of using our hearts and our ethics as a north star in our decision making is not necessarily something focused on in business school. In fact, last year, I was invited to speak at Harvard University, Cornell University and Johns Hopkins Carey Business School about Bozzuto’s success and our corporate ethos of kindness. The students in these classes told me that while they had heard speakers from many successful companies, not one had mentioned the word “kind” in their talks. Some of the students remarked that our corporate culture was refreshing and more in line with who they were. The idea that one can excel in business by trying to do the right thing all the time is surprisingly more novel than one might think. At Bozzuto, our way of doing business results in a double bottom line of both financial success and a positive impact on the world.
So often, those who study business conflate success with toughness. I find myself at the other end of that spectrum. To me, kindness is one of the biggest indicators of a strong and confident leader. As an organization, each day presents us with new opportunities to show kindness towards our customers, clients and each other. We are presented with a chance to make someone’s day better than it was. Each day is a new chance to impact a customer, a community or one another.
With a singular obsessiveness, we will show our customers and clients that we care. We will show them that we are listening and that we are here to lend a helping hand. We will not be afraid to admit mistakes we make, and we will do everything in our power to make things right. Our customers and clients are everything.
It is no accident that Bozzuto’s culture is defined by kindness. My father has often told me that we should always hire nice people. He says, “You can teach nice people skills, but you can’t teach skilled people to be nice if they aren’t already that way.” It is this innate quality of goodness that each of our associates has.
Through the beautiful diversity in the makeup of our organization, we are unified by our desire to be kind. We recruit for this quality more so than we recruit for specialties. When these good people enter our organization and ultimately get into a position where they are making hiring decisions, they hire people like them. Thus, kindness begets kindness. Success begets success. I recently shared with you my thoughts on finding and being the light, especially in the midst of darkness. I believe it is our duty to not only stand up but also to step up and take action. It is our responsibility to be a force for good by inspiring others. Often we can do this by simply being kind.
Kindness is an incredible strength. It is a differentiator that will allow us to separate ourselves markedly from our excellent competition.
When we think of the typical traits of a great leader, we think of the usual adjectives like fierce, relentless, dominant…the list of “tough” descriptors goes on and on. I think it’s time we re-think what successful and inspiring leadership looks like. A leader should show humility and genuine interest in serving their customers and those to whom they are responsible.
So this year, while we are busy getting our minds and bodies in shape, let’s not forget about our hearts. Let’s resolve to be kind. Let’s continue to pour our hearts into actions that make others feel hopeful. Let’s see the good around us. Let’s be the light for others.Learn more about our culture