What do Rustici Software owners, Mike and Tim, have in common with Phil Jackson? They are all great coaches.

If you’ve never heard of Phil Jackson, he is one of the best basketball coaches of all time. He was called the “Zen Master” because he had the ability to motivate and manage superstar players (and their egos) without yelling or screaming.

It’s quell week—a time for us to reflect on what we’ve done each quarter and what we’re going to do next. Each quell week is kicked off by a company-wide meeting in the pong room, led by Mike and Tim. The cool thing is that they talk about the state of the organization, their vision for our future, and their expectations, without causing panic or fear. They are our “Zen Masters.”

Since our last quell, we’ve grown by 15 percent. That’s a lot of new bodies added in only a few months. I’m not nervous about our growth, because our coaches provide the vision to power forward and the support that enables us to do great things. But, how you think about your projects and approach them are important. Here are the two biggest takeaways (coaching tips) from yesterday’s talk:

The Mindset:

Q: Where are we heading?
A: This is our foundation: Continue thinking of this as a place where you want to come to work everyday. Somewhere you feel safe, comfortable, and valued.

From orientation stories told by Joe to my personal experience at Rustici Software, this has been true. It’s important to remember that this is the environment that’s allowed us to grow and be successful. The commitment to keeping this ecosystem intact is what will continue us on that path.

The Execution:

Do you affect your problems or are you affected by the work that comes in?

  • Look at your work
  • Identify what’s difficult
  • Go to your peers and find solutions
  • Don’t wait, act on it

Again, we live this everyday. The people who work here aren’t just working; they’re giving their best to deliver the best. Instead of waiting for problems, they go find them and actively try to solve them. We’re going to continue to do that.

Okay, so we’re not a basketball team, and Mike and Tim aren’t actually coaches. But we are a team with great leaders who give really awesome pep-talks. The best part? Now that we’re motivated and ready to get things done, we get to have some fun, too. Next up, paintball!