In 2017 a small group of unassuming logistics people decided it was time for a change. They knew there was a better way. They had no idea what was about to happen over the next four years and how their lives would change and how they would change the lives of others.
This was a group of five individuals who had been working at a Buffalo, NY based logistics company. They were simply moving freight and doing the daily grind. Most of them hated their jobs and lost the connection to their hopes and dreams. The transcendence was subtle, but the impact was life changing. It started with the creation of a strategic plan, preparation for a change, and the execution on what they believed in.
Being disillusioned, unsatisfied, and believing work is just work is pretty typical in the world today. People start a career with aspirations for something exciting, but instead they are left feeling defeated and lose all hope of anything better in life. People do not realize great success and contribution to something bigger than themselves starts with purpose. It starts with “why.”
The Port X culture is founded on its “why.” Its purpose for being. Simply put, they knew there was a better way, they knew the people had to come first. They knew a successful business could be built with heart and include love. They knew if they focused on the internal experience of the team and then extended that same positive caring experience out to the customers it would change people’s lives. They believed in treating people with kindness, love, and compassion and knew it would have an impact.
This group of five would eventually evolve into a dynamic leadership team of eight in four short years. Since then they have changed the nature of the logistics industry and built an organizational culture that is unheard of in the world today.
Organizational culture by definition is the collection of values, expectations, and practices that guide and inform the actions of all team members. Culture is created through consistent and authentic behaviors. This all sounds great on paper but how do you put it into action?
How Port X built a thriving organizational culture
Authentic Leadership. A healthy culture starts with the leadership team. Port X knows the value of being authentic. The leadership team is committed to continuous professional growth. They seek to become more self-aware, genuine, and transparent every day.
Appreciation. They acknowledge and thank the team for their contributions making them feel part of something meaningful and purposeful. They write handwritten thank you cards internally and externally to express appreciation and gratitude.
Trust is vital to a healthy culture. The Port X leadership team gives trust first allowing the team to openly express themselves and rely on the support of others.
Resilience. A resilient culture encourages leaders to become flexible allowing them to change with ease. A resilient culture will promote honesty, humility, flexibility, and patience.
Teamwork. Port X strongly encourages collaboration, communication, and respect between team members. Everyone on the team believes that support and encouragement lead to feeling happier and more productive. They go above and beyond to establish connections and build positive relationships.
Strengths Focus. Port X focuses on what is right with people vs what is wrong. They take a strengths-based approach to stay focused on placing people in the best fit positions based upon strengths, setting people up for success.
Coaching. Port X has a Chief Heart Officer who ensures every team member feels inspired and supported both personally and professionally. Port X shows they care by investing in the success of every team member.
The Port X culture is grounded in its “Why”. Each person who works for Port X understands and aligns with the purpose and intention. They work to maintain consistent behaviors and becoming authentic so the culture stays alive. Port X takes great pride in staying keenly focused on taking care of their people first. From the beginning they knew there was a better way. They planned, they prepared and executed creating one of the most successful logistics companies of all time.
~ Dr. Dionne Kress