In March of 2013, I left a good job with a great company to embark on a personal mission. I sought to rid the world of “zombies” in the workforce. I sought to inspire individuals to take ownership of their professional and personal success. And I sought to demonstrate to organizations that it was in their best interest to support the integrity and wellness of their greatest asset. I’m proud to say, CEEK is fulfilling these objectives one individual and one organization at a time.
Admittedly, I fumbled my way through the first year of CEEK. Simply put, I sought to prove to myself and my wife that we could still pay the bills. Recognizing the limitations to fulfilling CEEK’s mission as an army of one, I took another risk and hired CEEK’s second employee. I turned to a trusted colleague and friend, Jennifer Hughes. The impact on CEEK’s capabilities, creativity and growth was instantaneous. Within a year, we expanded from general consulting support of three primary clients to an enhanced offering of personal development workshops, coaching, and consulting services to a dozen organizations.
Grasping the power of such collaboration, we pushed further. We engaged Chris King, initially as a consultant and now an employee, as a thought leader to drive us in new and creative ways to convey our message and improve our educational offerings. Chris subsequently introduced us to Abby Allen who embraced the CEEK mission and led efforts to secure CEEK’s largest client to date. Through those efforts, CEEK was able to engage exceptional, trusted colleagues Whitley Carson and Kristen Gauthier. As our next generation of millennial leaders, Whitley and Kristen have exponentially enhanced our creativity, communications, and delivery excellence.
In addition to the six employees of CEEK, we have hired three interns and engaged 18 like-minded consultants. Together, we have delivered personal and organizational development workshops, coaching and consulting services to the delight of 32 commercial, federal, and non-profit organizations. Though we have grown in revenue and profit every year, we never defined success in such terms. Rather, it is the impact we have on the individuals and organizations we serve. Mission accomplished!
One of the foundational offerings of CEEK, is that we help organizations develop and implement “Intentional Culture Plans.” In that regard, I am most proud of the fact that we practice what we preach. We defined Passion, Integrity, and Creativity (Be ePICÔ) as our core values. Notably, we embrace a broader definition of integrity, one in which we promote the wholeness of mind, body, and spirit of our colleagues.
Consistent with our values, CEEK developed and embraced a unique employment model that promotes the wellness of our greatest asset. We offer unlimited leave and work flexibility within the reasonable constraints of billable work targets. We generously invest in the personal and professional development of our staff. We embrace “Weekly Analog Time” and “Monthly Wellness Challenges” as intentional efforts to reinforce our integrity and wholeness. And we challenge each other to have an impact and be the best versions of ourselves each and every day.
In short, CEEK is living proof that a values-based organization, serving its employees, clients, and colleagues in honorable ways can not only survive, but thrive.
I am proud to celebrate CEEK’s five year anniversary with Jennifer, Chris, Abby, Whitley, and Kristen as my CEEK colleagues and friends. Each day, we bring our authentic selves to work. We openly share our knowledge and expertise as well as our fears and insecurities. We are human. We are inspired. We are making a difference.
I look forward to the future of CEEK. Not because, we will grow–which we will, or because we will achieve some industry recognition–which we may, or because we will be acquired–which we won’t. Rather, I look forward to the impact we will have and the stories we will tell.
And if you are personally interested in a more compelling story, stay tuned for the release of my first book later this year: “Finding Healthy Balance: a leader’s guide to navigate chaos in pursuit of PEACE.”*In concert with the book’s release, we will make available CEEK’s online “Life Balance AssessmentÔ” tool and a series of related workshops for organizations that seek to maximize the wellness AND productivity of their staff.
On behalf of the CEEK Team, I wish to close with expressed gratitude to our many clients and colleagues that have made the CEEK journey possible. Without your trust and support, none of this would be possible. And to all who have made it to the end of this lengthy blog post, thank you for your interest and support. May you all be inspired in your efforts to ‘CEEK…a Better Way!
Happy 5th Birthday CEEK!
* For early access to the book and assessment tool, simply send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line – “Early Access to Book.”