We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: Whether you’re hiring or not, you should always prioritize your most important asset – your people. That’s why the purpose of this content series isn’t to tout how great we are based on workplace and culture awards, but instead to highlight and elevate the people who make Greenhouse, Greenhouse.
In the last post of this series, we featured our Employee Experience Coordinator Emmett Herrick, as they taught us about the power of personal identity and authenticity. Now, we’re getting a closer look into the journey and story of our Team Manager of Customer Success, Kevin Do. Learn a little bit more about his life both in and out of the office, the essential ingredients for being your “best self” and the importance of self-compassion.
How would you describe yourself to someone you just met?
Kevin: I would say that I’m a deep and intentional person, and that I can get lost in thought pretty easily. The topics I’m reflecting on can range from understanding self-betterment and overcoming self-doubt, to thinking about the next shoe drop, to finding the best Korean barbeque joint on Yelp. I’m passionate about uplifting others, finding ways to express myself and living a life that’s true to me. In another life, or maybe at some point, I’d like to live near the mountains in New Zealand.
What are the ingredients for your “best self” or “true self”?
Kevin: My best self is a blend of courage, vulnerability, compassion and extreme ownership. I’d like to think of myself as a person who owns who he is 100%, even in light of fear.
I believe courage and vulnerability go hand in hand for self-actualization. Becoming the best version of myself depends on repeatedly making the choice to bet on myself, even if it’s scary and the odds are against me. I’ve experienced this in many ways, ranging from chasing multiple career aspirations, to expressing my feelings during difficult conversations, to taking improv.
Compassion and extreme ownership are also in the mix because they help me regulate my well-being in pursuit of my goals. Those values help me decipher if my pace of work is harming me (which is my cue for taking a break) or pushing me (which is my cue that it’s keeping me disciplined).
It’s so important that you have boundaries for yourself. What is one thing about your life outside of work that defines who you are as a person?
Kevin: I started a podcast in 2018 that’s a huge part of my identity. The essence of it highlights the vulnerability that underpins courage – the courage to be real, keep it together and wear multiple masks (no pun intended). It represents my commitment to owning my story, using my voice and uplifting my listeners. Every time I record, I reinforce those four ingredients of my best self – courage, vulnerability, compassion and extreme ownership. It takes courage and vulnerability to own both the good and bad parts of my life, and to overcome the judgement I place on myself. I’m also showing myself compassion through the self-acceptance I work through as I share my story. And lastly, extreme ownership is rooted in the commitment I have to reflecting and sharing how I am working to become my best self.
What does compassion mean to you?
Kevin: I see it as empathy backed by action – caring deeply and doing something about it. And recognizing that compassion for others first starts with self-compassion. I believe that we’re all innately compassionate people, but at some point in our lives, we were traumatized with hardships that shape the lens through which we see and interact in the world. I’m constantly doing the self-work to expand my capacity for compassion.
On top of the many hats you wear, you’re also a coach. What are the most difficult parts of being a coach and how do you work through them?
Kevin: The most difficult part of coaching, which I see as a lifelong learning, is the balancing act of active listening and knowing when to step in. On top of that, there’s also this gray space of knowing when to switch my coaching style if another approach isn’t working with the individual. I read once that it’s harder to be the listener than to be the sharer, and I couldn’t agree more.
As a listener, it’s important for me to check my biases, personal experiences and advice as I hold space for the other person. Sometimes my thoughts can overshadow what the person is sharing and limit my understanding of their experience. If someone is feeling down, and I lean on advice giving or even relate it back to my personal experience, that can take away from what they’re sharing and serve more as a way for me to quickly solve their problem so that I feel better.
What elements of Greenhouse company culture or our mission matter the most to you?
Kevin: One of my big personal milestones was facilitating a presentation on “Managing your energy” with Jamie [Director of DE&I] and Colm [General Manager of EMEA]. In one of my first meetings with Jamie, we nerded out on belonging, self-compassion, emotional intelligence, meditation and ways to blend work and life. Shortly after this, she gave me the platform to own my passion for emotional intelligence and self-compassion. We presented to our whole leadership team, and were also asked to do it again for all 300+ of our staff. Coming out of those sessions, I rolled out a 12-week wellness program that placed participants into accountability groups so that they could support each other in developing a routine for self-care. It’s one thing to have passions outside of work, it’s another to be given the opportunity to integrate what I truly love into the DNA of my company. To see Jamie welcome mental wellness and enable me to take the reins is a huge deal because I have the space to own my depth – that’s belonging. I’m being the manager that my younger self always wanted. It’s important for me to continue being who I am so that I can influence others to step into their power.
Why do you think it is important to feel a sense of belonging in the workplace?
Kevin: I’ve been pondering on this one throughout my life. Fitting in means to change and shapeshift who you are to gain acceptance and approval from others. That can arise in various ways: work politics, lunch table conversation topics, drinking-centric happy hours. Belonging means to be who you are and understand that you are worthy as you are. Feeling a sense of belonging is important to me, because I’ve spent a lot of my life regulating myself so that I could survive, and that’s exhausting. Belonging means that I can operate with less mental weight. Belonging feels lighter, happier, safer and open. Belonging creates possibilities, strong relationships and a sense of community.
Interested in getting more insight into Greenhouse’s culture, values and people? Visit greenhouse.io/mission.