New Year, New Crew

By | Culture, Life at Daxko, Rewarding Careers, Talent | No Comments

This year, I set two New Year’s resolutions – to finally practice speaking Spanish and to dominate at Daxko Friday Games. (Two months isn’t enough time to master my fellow teammates’ gaming ways. However, I will win one day.) The new year is always an exciting time for me. I love taking time to refocus, set goals and clean any clutter that I’ve allowed to pile around me.

For me, this new year was a bigger switch than normal. Over the last few months, I moved to a new city, started at a new company and began working in a new role. As an Engagement Consultant at Daxko, I work with a team of five superstars implementing and consulting on Daxko Engage and Daxko Mobile. My first few months at Daxko were welcoming, fast-paced and a wonderful type of overwhelming. With this theme of new in my life, it seems only fitting that my first months at Daxko aligned with the new calendar year and more importantly – Daxko Kickoff.

Daxko Kickoff – Our Roaring 20s

Every year, Daxko hosts a company-wide Kickoff event bringing teams across all departments and locations together to plan and refocus for the upcoming year. Combining work and play, Kickoff is the perfect time to allow our creative juices to flow and define our 2018 goals. Because Daxko is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, Kickoff was themed “Our Roaring Twenties”!

Our CEO, Dave Gray, began Kickoff with a company Keynote. Here, Dave addressed our 2017 achievements, being honest in ways we can grow and optimistic in the ways we will succeed. The evening continued at Iron City where the company gathered for our very own Daxko’s Got Talent. Bands rocked the stage, lip-syncers busted a move and the Engagement Solutions team’s very own Emily Vonbartheld KILLED it with Irish dancing.  It was AMAZING! I can’t sing enough praise for the people who performed.

Ending night one, Dave announced our 2018 Achievers Club Winners. This award is one of Daxko’s top honors. Winners received recognition for their outstanding work, a trophy and an all-inclusive trip to a resort in Mexico. Congratulations to all our Achievers Club winners! It was an honor to cheer on team members that I have the privilege to work with at Daxko.

Let’s get down to business

With celebrations and performances completed, it was time to focus in and plan for the upcoming year. Day two of Kickoff included multiple team breakouts and brainstorm sessions. This day provided my team with time needed to nail down our goals and projects for the 2018 year. While this day is more business-focused than the previous day’s celebration, I enjoyed it the most! The planner side of me thrived as my team brainstormed new ways we can improve our customers’ experience. Call me a nerd, but there is nothing better than hashing out a plan for a new project. By the end of the day, I left feeling confident in my team’s 2018 goals.

Already, in January and into February, I have seen my teammates make great strides in completing what we aimed to accomplish this year. I am thrilled to be a part of a stellar group. Kickoff was the best way to begin my time at Daxko. It allowed me to meet and connect with people across the whole company and grow closer to my immediate team. I cannot wait to see the ways we grow. Bring it on 2018 – I am kicking it off with an amazing, new crew at Daxko!

Christy Brown is an Engagement Consultant who loves vacationing in Asheville, NC and watching The Office.

I’ll Give You 180 Days

By | Culture, Grow Your Career, Life at Daxko, Rewarding Careers, Talent, Team Member Spotlight | No Comments

New Daxko team members normally have these 60-day perspectives ready to share on the Daxko Culture Blog shortly after 60 days have passed from our Daxko start dates. Let’s just say that getting this after being 180 days in will give you, the reader, added perspective. Just go with it. Don’t @ me.

I was hired onto the team at the beginning of June 2017 to support a group of customers using our Daxko Spectrum product and based in our Houston office. It’s been a thrilling experience, and what have the first six months of Daxko looked like for me? Here’s a list of some unique highlights and cultural pieces that stuck out to me:

  • Day 4: user group in Atlanta
  • Friday Open Q&As
  • A week at Birmingham HQ
  • Impact Day @ Houston Food Bank
  • User group in Chicago
  • Hurricane Harvey and Reach Conference
  • Houston office move
  • Club Industry Show
  • Halloween
  • Star Wars!

Quite the variety of events, some of which you can infer their meaning and others are just Daxko lingo that likely means nothing to you or any other reader on this page, but the effect of what those lingo words represent means everything to some.

Things can move quickly around Daxko, so you have to stay on your toes and be ready to jump in or pivot at any moment. Take a look at that first bullet above: yes, on Day 4, they had me on a plane to Atlanta to attend a user group for some of our customers in that area. I thought it was fantastic that this new company I just accepted a position with would spend the time and resources to go to where their customers are to simply welcome them in and work with them on better using one of the products. Not only that, but my team lead called me before I even started my first day to extend this invitation to me and made all of the arrangements!

Skip down a couple of bullets to the next user group in Chicago. That kicked off a whirlwind of personal and professional overdrive that lasted several weeks. Our offices had Daxko solar eclipse viewing parties on that Monday, then a large group of us were off to Chicago the next day for another user group we had planned for our customers in and around that city.

While conducting a successful user group and connecting with our customers, our attention was being called to trouble rapidly brewing back home: Hurricane Harvey. I remember sitting in my hotel room between two of our events and getting the group text from my team lead: “All of you here from Houston, change your flights right now to go home tomorrow (Thursday) evening. We will pay whatever the cost.” How awesome for a company to make an early call on some last-minute plan changes for meetings and events to ensure a group of us got home before flights sold out and airports closed for a major hurricane?

Harvey was a nightmare that no Houstonian ever wanted to see again after Allison in 2001. Things began turning very serious the first night, and anxieties were validated when a local chief meteorologist tweeted, “Allison is officially no longer the benchmark flood event in Houston,” and the forecast continued to show that the Harvey event was just beginning. But it did happen again, and it will again at some point. We’ve just accepted it as part of living in a major metro prone to floods. Our Houston office was closed for more than a week after the storm, and we spent that time helping our neighbours and communities and working from home as power and internet service allowed.

Harvey did not just affect team members and customers in the Houston area and down the Texas coast. It affected a large percentage of our company and customers. Why? Our annual REACH customer conference was scheduled to take place in Houston two weeks after Harvey struck. Remember what I said earlier about always being ready to pivot when working for Daxko? The company and hundreds of our customers had spent months making plans, incurring expenses, and at that point were finally ready to come together for a week of learning opportunities and to hear about the future of our products that they rely on. Suddenly, the host city was crippled by the worst natural disaster in its modern history. Our solution? In a matter of days, we pivoted and were ready to conduct as much of the conference as we could virtually. We knew it would not be the same experience as an in-person conference, but it was important to us to still use the time we had planned to connect with all of these customers in any way that we could. We learned a lot from this experience, and I am excited for our next customer conference.

Nearly a month after Harvey, the Houston team moved offices! The last office was a dark and dreadful place. We try not to remember it. It did not sustain any damage during Harvey, and the move was originally planned for the week that Harvey happened. Needless to say, Harvey brought the move to a grinding halt for some time, but once again, we pivoted and made adjustments. Now our Birmingham and Houston offices both reside in Class A buildings constructed at the turn of the millennium! (I told you the last Houston office was a dreadful place).

If you ever visit our spaces, you’ll find it interesting that the interior design of these spaces is the signature of our CEO, Dave Gray. He does most of the design planning and selections himself for our workspaces. He even worked to have a portion of the ceiling removed between the two floors our Birmingham space occupies and had a large staircase built between the floors, because he wanted the spaces open and the Birmingham-based teams easily connected rather than separated. Crazy cool, right? Our new Houston space is still a work in progress, but after a few trips to Birmingham HQ this year, I am excited to see what Dave is putting together for our space.

Moving through the year, the season began to change, but first impressions of this new company culture I’d found myself immersed in did not. I’ve heard of other companies permitting costumes on Halloween or having a fun social during lunch, but never have I seen a company as enthusiastic about Halloween as Daxko. Of course, the ringleader of all the fun is once again our CEO. He is very passionate about Halloween, and strongly encourages team members to participate in the company-wide costume contest – a costume contest across three offices in three states and dozens of remote team members around the country. I’ve seen company leaders encourage participation in company events plenty of times before, but I never thought I would hear a CEO say in a company-wide meeting (with a laugh of course), “If you’re seriously not dressing up, don’t bother coming into the offices that day. Just work from home instead. I’m serious!” What a character, and it was only fitting that he showed up for work on Oct. 31 in a very elaborate Willy Wonka costume – complete with the top hat and cane!

Most recently, I learned that Daxko has adopted a different approach to a company holiday party. Rather than host a traditional, stuffy gathering (which I presume would not be stuffy at all based on how I’ve seen other things conducted around here), they have capitalized on Disney’s recent release schedule for the current awakening of The Force and purchased Star Wars movie tickets for each team member on the films’ opening nights. This has allowed team members to still get together for a fun event during the holiday time and take a different approach to an end-of-year celebration. And plus, it’s Star Wars!

Overall, the first 180 days here has been an experience that I would not trade away. I came here from a large corporation that was also breaking the mold with team member focus and culture, and seeing that same focus here at Daxko was a large influence in my decision to join the team. I am very excited for what the next 365 days will bring, and the 365 days after that.

Matt Glenn is a Strategic Relationship Manager who always visits the People Team pod when he comes to Birmingham.

Career Advice from a Longtime Daxko Pro

By | Culture, Free Career Advice, Grow Your Career, Life at Daxko, Rewarding Careers, Talent, Team Member Spotlight | One Comment

When I joined Daxko in 2009, it was my first “real job” out of college. Being a clueless-yet-confident twenty-something, I was terrified that at any moment, someone might discover I didn’t have it all figured out. Lucky for me, Daxko turned out to be fertile ground to grow my career and blossom. The fast-paced environment was just what I needed to expand my skillset, super-charge my confidence, and find the courage to be my (weird) self.

My first Daxko “wall” photo taken in 2009. Can you smell my eagerness?

As I prepare for my next adventure after nearly a decade-long career at Daxko, I can’t help but reflect on the relationships I’ve built and lessons I’ve learned along the way. So, here’s a bit of career advice from me to you. Whether you’re the new kid on the block, rocking your second decade with a company, or somewhere in between, I hope you’ll find advice here to move onward and upward in your career.

Enthusiasm is Everything
Life is short and tomorrow is not promised, which is why I aim to enjoy every moment, including my time at the office. This is why I’ve always fit into the company culture at Daxko. The entire company is teeming with fun folks who bring a high level of enthusiasm to their work. Enthusiasm is contagious, and people willingly follow passionate leaders. Think about it. Is there anything more inspiring than working alongside someone who’s fired up? It’s like Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, “Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.”

Running amok with teammates at our Kickoff 2012 event

Stretch, Reinvent, Repeat
Through my years at Daxko, I’ve held a few different positions. Each time, the change was scary, but I was always better for it in the end. Beginning your career in one role or department doesn’t mean you’re locked in for life. When it’s time for a little reinvention, channel your inner Bowie and figure out how specific skills you possess can translate into that next new job. If you’re qualified for 60% of the job, go for it and stretch, baby, stretch!

My final reinvention at Daxko was on the Marketing Team. We were…really into exploring our strengths.

Find Your Equilibrium
If you’re not intentional about setting boundaries and scheduling down time, work stress can suck the lifeblood out of you. Case in point? A good portion of my Daxko years were spent managing events, which is statistically one of the most stressful jobs, along with firefighters and airline pilots, so I’ve navigated my fair share of hair-on-fire work stress. Of course, every job has its stressors, and there will always be projects that call for longer hours and a little more hustle. The trick is to avoid burnout by finding your equilibrium – a pace you can sustain for the long haul.

Stress? What stress? We’re cool as cucumbers, baby!

Change is Inevitable. Adapt!
During my time at Daxko, I’ve seen so much change: new faces, new products, new leadership, new workspaces, new goals, new norms…the list goes on. It’s true what they say – nothing ever stays the same. That’s why it’s important to become adaptable. I find this is best accomplished with a good sense of humor and eyes wide open for new opportunities. The butterflies in your stomach are natural. Push through and embrace the change!

No desk? No problem! Adapt, plug in, and make some magic happen.

From the Pitch to the Pod

By | Culture, Grow Your Career, Healthy Stuff, Life at Daxko, Talent | No Comments

I’ve spent most of my life on a team. I lived and breathed competition as soon as I could. From a young age, I jumped into baseball, basketball, football, and in college I found an outlet in rugby. Over the years I’ve played every role imaginable on these teams. I’ve been fortunate enough to experience sports from a variety of roles within a team. I was never very good at football, so I played only small role. I was an average baseball player, so I played a moderate amount. I fell in love with rugby and put all my effort into it and now am fortunate enough to travel the country and play.

One of the most important things my experience in sports has taught me is that it takes every role performing to the best of their ability for the team to succeed. A good coach always reminds his players that no one individual can succeed without the team. The core concept is that you all rely on each other.

Sports have provided me with a number of life lessons, and my experience with them have been invaluable. You may stop playing sports, but you’ll be a part of teams for the rest of your life. Daxko picks up the team mentality and runs with it. When I accepted a role as Project Manager at Daxko, I jumped in to a team of people who immediately welcomed me in. When I say ‘team’ I don’t mean every employee at Daxko (although they certainly were all friendly); I specifically mean the Project Management team around me.

Daxko puts a lot of emphasis on what kind of player you are for your team. You’re in for a few personality tests when you first start out, including Marcus Buckingham’s StandOut assessment. Learning to identify your Strengths will help your Team Lead understand what you bring to your team and will inform how they use you as a player. You’ll never be curious as to what each of your teammates strengths are, because you’ll see these handy magnets throughout the office that identify everyone’s strengths.

As I’ve spent time learning the ins-and-outs of life at Daxko, it’s obvious that each member of our team plays a role that helps drive us forward. We have role players, contributors, superstars, captains, and coaches. Together we learn our strengths, what we can bring to the team, and how to contribute to our ultimate goal: Success. And yes, it’s cliché, but we all rely on one another to be successful.

Whether I’m on the rugby pitch or in the PM pod, I’m working with my team to be competitive and succeed. Working in a place where you’re surrounded by people who are invested in your satisfaction and your success is empowering. We’re all working toward the same goal, all aiming at the same objective. We want to be the most loved company in our industry. To do this, we leverage our entire team’s strengths to empower one another to be the best at what we do.

Zac R. is a Project Manager who loves naps, karaoke, and self-deprecating humor.