Welcome, welcome! We’re so excited to get the Blackbird blog up and going, and we’re so glad you’re here.
I’ve been wanting to get this going for some time, but I was stuck in deliberation over just how to begin.
This article resonated with me so deeply, and for many reasons.
I too, worked my way into a different social class than where I came from, and I too, am keenly aware
of all the little class vertigo moments Merci describes in her writing – of how people interact
with me now vs. those in service around me. And I especially notice because I used to be the maid.
There are many iterations of this quote, but they all come back to the same principle:
On Being Grateful
I am extremely grateful for my privilege at this stage of my life, because while I work very hard, there is
a different ease to going through my day. Sure, there’s all the craziness that goes along with being
entrepreneur, and while some days are hard – those days are nowhere close to being as hard as working
two (or more) jobs, taking a long bus ride, and still wondering how the bills will get paid.
And, I too, love helping people. It’s basically my calling in life. I love to get my hands dirty.
I love to hustle. I love to know that my people are taken care of. It lights me up, and it makes me proud.
Reflecting back on my corporate career, the feedback I was often given was “too hands on” with my
clients; I needed to delegate more to show my seniority – essentially so I didn’t appear to be a “service
person” (gasp!) in the eyes of a CEO/CFO. Well, no dice. Not ever. I will always need to personally know
my baby birds are safe and secure. (I swear that will be the only bird pun. For now.)
One Year Ago
One day last year I was onsite at a client’s office, meeting with the President of the company.
The phone rang and as he answered, the client on the other end began apologizing for bothering
him with a service need.
The President quickly interjected, his eyes lit up and a smile spread across his face as he told the
client to never apologize, he is never too busy, and that’s what he was there for.
I loved being in on that little moment.
As I thought about what it would look like to build Blackbird, I thought about who I am
in my guts, and what I bring to the table in this business. And while I can regale you with some
fantastic LinkedIn buzzwords about strategy and solutions, etc. etc. – who I am at my deepest core, is a host.
Actually, more like… a Robo-Host. So, I absolutely love this excerpt from the article:
“We often talked about approaching our work in a manner that modeled the service industry:
Slack was our restaurant, and our customers were the guests we served.
We referenced this quote from Charles Eames, from whom we adopted the guest/host model:
“One of the things we hit upon was the quality of a host. That is, the role of the
architect, or the designer, is that of a very good, thoughtful host, all of whose energy
goes into trying to anticipate the needs of his guests — those who enter the building
and use the objects in it. We decided that this was an essential ingredient in the
design of a building or a useful object.”
–Charles Eames (Designer & Visionary)
The host mindset is also the service mindset, or the ownership mentality.
It is key to designing and building truly intuitive products, and running great companies.
It is software-as-a-service in its most poetic form: the anticipation of your customer’s
needs so that you can be there to meet them, happy to help.”
We truly are – Happy to Help
There is truly nothing that could resonate with me more deeply than this when I think about
my vision for Blackbird.
About how I want our clients to feel about their experience in
working with us – to apply the principals of a thoughtful host, to hold space for
our clients, anticipating their needs, thoughtfully addressing them, and creating
an experience that delivers results with style.
Thank you, Merci, for a beautiful read and a fresh dose of inspiration to get out there and get after it.
Let’s have a great Spring everyone, and stay tuned as we share more about our vision, and our
path to becoming a B Corp.