Be the Ball, Danny

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How we are building a place for people to love what they do.

2019 is a complicated year amidst a complicated decade. It’s not easy to keep focus and commitment when the world outside is swirling, which makes these twin honors for 2019 especially meaningful for our team. Today, with the help of our partners, clients and friends, Glen Echo Group celebrates our recognition as a top Washington place to work by both Washingtonian magazine and the Washington Business Journal. We share these awards with the best of the best in the Washington area and it’s quite something to stand beside them on these genuinely impressive lists. And let’s stop for a moment to note how wonderful is it for the Nation’s Capital to be such a hub for innovation and growth. Our hats are off to you.

We work hard at making the Glen Echo Group a great place to work. It is one of our core pillars. We all spend so much time—a third of our lives—at the office, so it shouldn’t suck. That said, making things not suck doesn’t happen by magic. It requires dedication and commitment and the ability to play the long game every day. The math is deceptively simple: happy team = happy clients = happy bottom line. As every article ever written always says, it always starts and ends with the people and we are lucky to have a team that comprises the very best of them. We also have the great privilege to work at the intersection of technology, innovation and public policy which gives us a front row seat at the digital revolution—a crazy ride for sure, but never a boring one.

Being a great place to work isn’t just about having a fun environment, great benefits and exciting clients. People come to the Glen Echo Group with a genuine drive to make the world a better place and that spirit infuses everything we do—from the clients with whom we work, the kind of work we produce and the kind of community we build around us. Our mission is humble. We realize that excellence in creative communications will not cure cancer or achieve world peace but in our own small way, we can try to be the change we wish to see in the world.

And that world is not about being the best, but being better. Every day. It is not about perfection but about trying and failing, and growing through curiosity and wonder rather than on the safe and predictable road. It is about building bridges among a diversity of voices, approaches and experiences so that we can achieve outcomes that reflect the world around us to the benefit the many instead of the few. What that requires of us is to build a platform for our people that enables them to grow both professionally and personally in a way that drives us all forward.

An example of that platform is Glen Echo Gives, the community outreach arm of the Glen Echo Group. Rather than a one-size-fits-all program of giving back, Glen Echo Gives provides a platform for giving back through volunteerism, outreach, fundraising and sponsorships that meets our team where they are. We support their passions and projects through a fund that allows them the time and the resources to participate on boards, to mentor, to provide in-kind expertise or plain old raise money in the way they wish. Sometimes we’ll participate in those passions as a team and others, we’ll simply support and cheer on our individual team members in their work.

One of my favorite lines from Caddyshack, one of the best movies of all time, is when a blindfolded Chevy Chase says to Michael O’Keefe, “Just be the ball, Danny, be the ball,” and the ball flies right onto the green. At Glen Echo Group, we feel the same way. Be the ball. Be the change you want to see in the world. You might just get it on the green.

Congrats to our team and to all the great places to work for 2019. It is an honor to stand beside you.

Note: This article originally appeared on Medium.