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Taco Has Passed — For Real This Time

By Joey Havens

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Hopefully, you remember the hilarious story of Taco, the Purdie’s cat who mistakenly met a premature death in one of my earlier blogs. The story was so popular, I felt an obligation to share with you that Taco has now lived his nine lives, and for the second time, he received an appropriate burial and ceremony.  

What has been enlightening from the experience is how much more the Purdies have enjoyed and appreciated having Taco around the house after his first premature burial. CeCe and I received frequent updates on what Taco was up to and how much he was enjoying life. Second chances sometimes trigger us to care a little more. 

I have personally expressed regrets and the negative impact when we lose key team members to other companies and frequently others do the same. Rampant turnover is a culture killer and certainly destroys our ability to create a WOW client experience. There are certainly exceptions to this next comment, yet I believe (and many surveys support this), a team member rarely leaves for compensation. If they have a strong sense of belonging, if they see leaders living the values, if they see leaders demonstrate care, if they are part of building something bigger than themselves — they are all in.  

As I share in Leading with Significance, it starts with leaders trusting people and being intentional to connect and demonstrate they care. Caring has a big impact on how people show up at work. 

Caring leads to connection and meaning. 

As the authors share in TomorrowMind (2023), almost 50% of team members today are running on empty because of no connection with leadership and no real meaning in their work.  

We can demonstrate caring in so many ways — our time, our feedback, our trust. Do we know our team members’ aspirations? Their dreams? Do we know the personal challenges like elder care, kindergarten graduation or baseball practice? Do we provide the flexibility for team members to provide input on when, where and how they work? Do we demonstrate caring with words of appreciation and recognition? What do our team members want to be recognized for? 

Caring means providing transparency, clarity and better communications. Caring is listening. Caring is providing challenging opportunities and resources.  

Let’s stop burying Taco every month and breathe some life into our workplace culture by demonstrating we care. Every team member can demonstrate this for others and as sure as Taco came back alive, your culture will be magnetic.  

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