Easy-to-follow video tutorials help you learn software, creative, and business skills.Become a member

Understanding your company

From: Thinking Like a Leader

Video: Understanding your company

When it comes to developing savvy, understanding is a powerful word. For your career, the most important thing to understand is the company that you're working in. Your company has a unique personality, regardless of industry, size, or how long it's been in business. Understand this personality and you can speak its language, adapt to change when it happens, and be able to anticipate what is needed without being told. Your education may have prepared you for your career, but it likely didn't show you how to best meet your company's unique needs.

Understanding your company

When it comes to developing savvy, understanding is a powerful word. For your career, the most important thing to understand is the company that you're working in. Your company has a unique personality, regardless of industry, size, or how long it's been in business. Understand this personality and you can speak its language, adapt to change when it happens, and be able to anticipate what is needed without being told. Your education may have prepared you for your career, but it likely didn't show you how to best meet your company's unique needs.

For instance, a graphic designer for an advertising agency will need to behave and work in a different way, than a graphic designer working for a public university. Each of these organizations has a very different personality. By understanding their company's personality, both graphic designers cannot only perform better and have more opportunities for growth, but they'll also enjoy their jobs more, they'll feel like they fit in. There are five areas where you can learn about the personality of your company.

All of these may not apply to your company, but this will give you an idea of where to begin your study and develop some savvy. The first area is the values of your business, meaning, the written statements of what your company stands for. This may be a mission statement or perhaps a list of words that have meaning to the company, such as integrity, loyalty or customer service. In my experience, many companies have a mission statement or a set of values, but they're not referred to very often.

My suggestion is to study these values in depth, reflect on them, and rephrase them in your own words, so that you start to internalize them. Keep a list of these values on your desk where you can see them. This will help you develop an understanding of your company's personality. The second area is the company's vision. Sometimes this is a written document created by leadership, and sometimes it's just a verbal understanding of where the company is headed.

It may be in a speech the CEO has made about where the company will be five years from now. Do you understand where the company is headed? Take the time to discover what the vision is by finding the written document, if there is one, or asking some questions about where the leadership wants the company to be in the future. This will guide the decisions that you make as you work in the business. The third area is the company story. How and why was it founded and by whom? There might be a written document or a section on your company's web site about its history.

Many corporations teach the story of the business during new employee orientation. If there aren't documents about the story, perhaps you can ask your company's leadership to tell you what they know. The more you understand the story, the more passionate you'll become about the place that you work, and you'll want to contribute to its future story. The fourth area to get to know is your company's culture. You usually won't find this in a written document. The culture reflects how the organization works together.

In your own words, how would you describe the culture of your company? Is it a fun environment or is it strict? Is it competitive or team-oriented? Company culture influences day-to-day norms that have been created over time either intentionally or unintentionally. The more you understand these norms, the better prepared you'll be to serve in the company. The final area to discover is your company's cause. Many companies have adopted a cause that's greater than just profitability.

Sometimes that cause can be related to their industry, such as a bank helping entrepreneurship, or the cause may be unrelated to the business, such as a clothing store donating to cancer research. If your company has a cause, learn about that cause and why it's important to the business. If you can, in some way, make that cause your own, you'll find greater meaning in your work. By getting to know the values, vision, story, culture, and cause of your company, you'll have a greater understanding about its personality and how to be sure that your work meets the needs and wants of your company.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Thinking Like a Leader
Thinking Like a Leader

17 video lessons · 15569 viewers

Dave Crenshaw
Author

 

Start learning today

Get unlimited access to all courses for just $25/month.

Become a member
Sometimes @lynda teaches me how to use a program and sometimes Lynda.com changes my life forever. @JosefShutter
@lynda lynda.com is an absolute life saver when it comes to learning todays software. Definitely recommend it! #higherlearning @Michael_Caraway
@lynda The best thing online! Your database of courses is great! To the mark and very helpful. Thanks! @ru22more
Got to create something yesterday I never thought I could do. #thanks @lynda @Ngventurella
I really do love @lynda as a learning platform. Never stop learning and developing, it’s probably our greatest gift as a species! @soundslikedavid
@lynda just subscribed to lynda.com all I can say its brilliant join now trust me @ButchSamurai
@lynda is an awesome resource. The membership is priceless if you take advantage of it. @diabetic_techie
One of the best decision I made this year. Buy a 1yr subscription to @lynda @cybercaptive
guys lynda.com (@lynda) is the best. So far I’ve learned Java, principles of OO programming, and now learning about MS project @lucasmitchell
Signed back up to @lynda dot com. I’ve missed it!! Proper geeking out right now! #timetolearn #geek @JayGodbold
Share a link to this course

What are exercise files?

Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course. Save time by downloading the author's files instead of setting up your own files, and learn by following along with the instructor.

Can I take this course without the exercise files?

Yes! If you decide you would like the exercise files later, you can upgrade to a premium account any time.

Become a member Download sample files See plans and pricing

Please wait... please wait ...
Upgrade to get access to exercise files.

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Learn by watching, listening, and doing, Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along Premium memberships include access to all exercise files in the library.


Exercise files

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

For additional information on downloading and using exercise files, watch our instructional video or read the instructions in the FAQ.

This course includes free exercise files, so you can practice while you watch the course. To access all the exercise files in our library, become a Premium Member.

Are you sure you want to mark all the videos in this course as unwatched?

This will not affect your course history, your reports, or your certificates of completion for this course.


Mark all as unwatched Cancel

Congratulations

You have completed Thinking Like a Leader.

Return to your organization's learning portal to continue training, or close this page.


OK
Become a member to add this course to a playlist

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses—and create as many playlists as you like.

Get started

Already a member?

Become a member to like this course.

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses.

Get started

Already a member?

Exercise files

Learn by watching, listening, and doing! Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along. Exercise files are available with all Premium memberships. Learn more

Get started

Already a Premium member?

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Ask a question

Thanks for contacting us.
You’ll hear from our Customer Service team within 24 hours.

Please enter the text shown below:

The classic layout automatically defaults to the latest Flash Player.

To choose a different player, hold the cursor over your name at the top right of any lynda.com page and choose Site preferencesfrom the dropdown menu.

Continue to classic layout Stay on new layout
Exercise files

Access exercise files from a button right under the course name.

Mark videos as unwatched

Remove icons showing you already watched videos if you want to start over.

Control your viewing experience

Make the video wide, narrow, full-screen, or pop the player out of the page into its own window.

Interactive transcripts

Click on text in the transcript to jump to that spot in the video. As the video plays, the relevant spot in the transcript will be highlighted.

Are you sure you want to delete this note?

No

Your file was successfully uploaded.

Thanks for signing up.

We’ll send you a confirmation email shortly.


Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

Keep up with news, tips, and latest courses with emails from lynda.com.

Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

   
submit Lightbox submit clicked
Terms and conditions of use

We've updated our terms and conditions (now called terms of service).Go
Review and accept our updated terms of service.