5 min read

11:FS value three - Attitude: we embrace our weird

David M. Brear

Last week as part of the 11:FS values launch, I shared a little about how we communicate at 11:FS – we always own our narrative, no matter what. If you missed it, take a look at it here. This week, I’ll discuss the importance of bringing our whole selves to everything we do. Value number three - Attitude: we embrace our weird.

I’ve been saying this for much longer than 11:FS has been in existence but I deeply believe that in this world it isn't what you do that matters most but the way in which you do it.

The way in which you do anything can have an abnormally disproportionate impact on the success of the thing in which you do. It starts for me always with the how, and at 11:FS we take pride in the differences of our people and their ways of doing things.

For too long in my career I had to pretend. To be a banker, a management consultant and a bunch of other things and it’s exhausting. What’s the point of wasting half your brain trying to pretend to be something you’re not?

The reason I’m personally against wearing a suit is because it isn’t me. When I’m at home I don’t wake up in the morning and suit up for breakfast… well not usually… I’m in a t-shirt and jeans. Differentiating work you and home you is tiring and for the most part just damn uncomfortable.

We want to forge a culture where everyone can contribute and have their say

With this in mind, at 11:FS we don’t hire square people and then make them fit into a round hole or worse put round people in square holes without the support they need.

We encourage our people to be them and the whole of them while they are here. We want them to be the most them they can be from the way they like to dress and talk, to the way they interact with others. We want authenticity and flavour to our culture. We want people to have their own voice and to feel confident enough to have an opinion. The best ideas don’t come from the top down and they certainly don’t come from me a lot of the time!

We hire smart people who have smart ideas, and you never know when someone else may have the answer to a problem you are working though. Take Google for example.

Every month even when the company grew to thousands of people in three different offices around the world Larry and Sergey would hold a Town Hall and discuss the wins and challenges of the business. When they introduced a new project they were thinking of exploring a junior engineer way at the back of the room raised his hand and challenged the concept. Larry and Sergey gave him the floor and challenged him, but the engineer stood his ground. He allowed himself to be vulnerable. That engineer ended up leading a brand new team to carry out a much better version of the project with the full support of Larry and Sergey.

Passion and Positivity

We want to forge a culture where everyone can contribute and have their say. Everyone has their own voice and their own style of doing things. Like the Avengers as we always reference, bringing a mix of voices and styles together to work coherently can produce results that are game changing.

Here, everyone has something they’re abnormally passionate about. It could be product, the customer, code, design, law, audio, video or whatever. We want the people who work here to bring all of that weird to what they do. If they bring all of them to work and we get them as close to them as possible it won’t be work but their passion, and it won’t be hard but fun.

This isn’t about cake for breakfast or only eating steak and no veg. Everyone takes responsibility and no one is too fancy to do the groundwork, but the more aligned everyone is to their role and the more their role is their passion the better life will be for them.

We as a company are a positive group of peoples. The difference in my mind and my context of a positive and negative person, is a positive one will highlight an issue or situation and take action and responsibility to resolve it for the good of the company. A negative one will raise issues about situations or people without steps to resolve or worse not raise them at all.

Positivity is a mindset. It’s seeing all the problems we have, and we have lots, but owning them and stepping in to resolve them.

A positive person will motivate the team even in times of crisis. They will always fall forwards. They bring energy to the room; they don’t suck the life from the team and bring them down, making a situation worse.

At 11:FS, our particular blend of weird is:

Passionate

We continually inspire others with our drive for excellence and our belief in the vision and mission of 11:FS.

Positive

We believe we can change the world for the better. We are credibly optimistic and tenacious. We are constructive in our thinking and with our actions.

Authentic

We truly believe in who we are, what we do and how we do it. We back our words up with actions. We are willing to be vulnerable to be true to our beliefs.

Come back next week when David unveils our next value. In the meantime, are you looking for a change of gear or a new challenge? Then head over to our Careers page to see if anything takes your fancy.

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About the author

David M. Brear

David is the CEO of 11:FS and since his dream of being a sportsperson was crushed (along with the ligaments in his knee!) and he had to get a proper job, he has worked in pretty much every angle of financial services industry but never lost that competitive desire to win.

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