Who Knows the Company Story? Does It Even Matter?

When it comes to your company story — how and why your organization got started — how much do your people REALLY know? And does it even matter?

These questions struck me this weekend as my wife, son, and daughter-in-law, (also my business partner), celebrated the 35th anniversary of our business.

An Amazing 35-Year Adventure!

April 8, 1988, is my “professional declaration of independence” day! The day I quit my job and dove head first into professional speaking. Total immersion Day One. Sink or swim. 

The thread of my work runs throughout the tapestry of my family’s life. It has impacted virtually every decision we have made, collectively and independently.

So I was a little surprised when I asked my son and daughter-in-law if they knew how and why we got started. They had some details right, but I realized I had assumed they “knew” the company story, and why we make a point of celebrating each year. The chance to recall our start helped them better understand the history that underpins our mission and values.

Back to you and your people. As team members come on board, has anyone told them “the story”? Do they know why the organization they’re joining forces with exists? How could knowing the details change how they carry the mission and values to customers, vendors, and those they engage with every day?

Who’s With Me?

This journey has never been mine alone. Over 1,000 client groups have hired me and allowed me to support the development of those who lead their organizations. A true honor!

Literally, thousands of people have listened as I shared concepts to help their personal leadership growth. Time and attention are both precious and limited. Yet people have graciously shared both with me for 3.5 decades. Incredible!

These speaking engagements have taught me more about myself than imaginable. Preparing and sharing with others has caused me to dive deeper to discover who I really am and what I really believe. Both are necessary to help other leaders do the same.

Who is with you on your journey, and how do you celebrate them?

Supporting Success

Too often, those supporting us the most get overlooked. I’ve had some of the best! My wife Susan has been beside me since the beginning. We’ve also been joined by Connie Lee, Kim Mercer, Laura Fagin, and now my successor, Alyson Van Hooser. Though I’ve told them repeatedly, I doubt they will ever truly know how much I appreciate them.

Special attention is due to the person who made my journey begin when it did. Tom Alexander, my HR colleague, soon after my friend, was the first person to hire me. He believed in me when there was nothing obvious on which to build that belief. But he was steadfast in his support and still is. And I will forever be grateful!

Have you intentionally acknowledged those you support and contribute to your success?

(Here’s a photo of me and Tom, circa 1988!✨)

Celebrating the Rest of the Company Story

While time may change us, (note the photos ?) the need for effective leaders never will. Neither will my commitment to that effort, nor my celebration of those who help me write the next parts of our company story!

#workanniversary #leadershipspeaker #leadershipdevelopment

If Alyson or I can help your team be better at leading, we would count it a tremendous privilege to contribute to your company’s incredible story! hello@vanhooser.com

Phillip Van Hooser

Phillip Van Hooser, CSP, CPAE, Founder & Chair, Van Hooser Leadership. A seasoned leadership expert, keynote speaker, and author, Phillip Van Hooser is passionate about developing intentional leaders who can effectively engage and empower their employees to deliver powerful results. His most recent book is “Earning The Right To Be Heard," a primer for creating greater influence and opportunities. Connect with Phil on LinkedIn.


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