Building a sustainable company requires putting your ego aside and considering diverse viewpoints in how your conduct business, even if that sometimes means doing things that are contrary to your own beliefs.
At some point entrepreneurs will face a decision about the type of company they’re building: a monument to themselves, or a sustainable platform. Many choose the first path, and lead companies that become direct reflections of themselves, at the cost of sharing space and inviting other perspectives.
I decided a few years ago that I was no longer interested in pursuing “Shervin Inc.,” and instead embraced a diversity of ideas and perspectives from our associates, leaders, and board members. This is the way to build a sustainable business and it often means that I need to be receptive to people when they disagree with me, and even when they undo something I did or said in the past.
At our most recent board meeting two weeks ago, our People Operations team, which includes Talent Acquisition, shared how Facebook (and WhatsApp and Instagram) was more than a “nice to have app” in many of the countries we operate in, and was actually a core public utility for millions of people, embedded deeply into commerce, payments, hiring, and other business functions. They explained how my point of view regarding Facebook, which led to a decision in 2020 to suspend all our corporate operations on those platforms, was centered around my own privilege and location, with easy options for life without Facebook. They told me this was not the case for 99% of the population in Brazil, Honduras, the Philippines, Romania, South Africa, and beyond.
So in the spirit of transparency and openness, I am supporting our targeted use of Facebook, as determined by our President & COO, Heather Casey, and our Chief People Officer, Tracy Ward, who have approached this matter with thoughtful consideration of our culture, and our mission:
People. Without Borders. Without limits.
The PartnerHero we are building is a sustainable one, that supports and uplifts the thousands of people who work here all around the world. I don’t believe that can happen if everything we do is subject to the whims and personal opinions of one person. I am learning to hold my convictions and beliefs loosely, while holding my curiosity and openness firmly. This change may seem insignificant on the outside, but for my role it’s edifying.