Last summer, ASEA Founder Tyler Norton sat down for a face-to-face chat about the 10-year anniversary of the company. Of course, there’s no way to talk about company history without getting to the central theme of the ethos that has become the fabric of our worldwide company culture. We’ve taken portions of Tyler’s words from that interview to highlight some of the things that make ASEA the company that it is.
Something I’d like people to know about ASEA is that we have a soul. We’re normal people. If you came to my house, you’d see a pile of dirty laundry, you’d see a bunch of kids running around the house. If you came to my Sunday dinners with my dad or my mom, you’d see a family that has all the glorious challenges and good things and bad things about it, just like any family.
At ASEA, we’re substantive and real and—to a point, vulnerable—and maybe even overly transparent about that realness. But I hope it’s a place where people are comfortable to come and be themselves.
A Place to Be Yourself
In a social media world, where we’re constantly being looked at and constantly wanting to pose for our very best moment, I think it’s kind of fatiguing over time. People are looking for a place where they can just be real and just be themselves.
That place is here. Come here and miss. If you shoot and miss here, it’s OK. I want you to miss here; you don’t have to be perfect here. You just need to come here and give us who you are. That’s what I wish people knew about our company. I think a lot of companies are dressing up who they are and want it to look a certain way. I just want it to be real here.
We have tens of thousands of active associates, and that number grows every day. The only way for us to keep our company culture relevant to each person is to teach the truth. That’s it. I had a very, very great mentor who said, “If it’s true, you can teach it.”
Truth is the only thing that resonates, and so when we teach principles about how to treat other people, it resonates across cultures and languages and ethnicities, and even traditional backgrounds.
I was told early on when we were expanding our company into Europe that we couldn’t teach these kinds of things, that Europeans would want us to talk more about the money or so on and so forth, and I just said, “Well, we’re going to find out.”
What I found is a wonderful, substantive, beautifully educated, capable people that when you teach a truth, —a universal concentrated truth, which I refer to as a principle—it resonates; it applies.
Expanding the Company Culture
We have a unique culture here at ASEA, and the company is growing. You might ask how we’re going to hang onto that, and I’ll tell you. The way to scale the culture is, you stay committed to teaching and doing your best, even though you’re entirely frail as human beings. You’re going to make mistakes, but keep doing your best to live by principles. When you do that, you inspire others to try and do the same.
When you disavow principles as an organization and as individuals, you create this kind of tacit agreement that people can do the same. You start to inspire people to use things that aren’t really tried and true to get ahead.
The only way to expand the culture of ASEA and keep its essence is to be true to the principles that underscore it.