Being true to our priorities, a shift in leadership at &yet
As founder, I (Adam Brault) have served as CEO of &yet since day one, and today we're making a change.
Our website says, "&yet is about people."
I believe priorities are what you do, not what you say they are.
We say that &yet is about people not as a cute feel-good line, but because we think it's the right thing to do, it's effective, and it works.
When people feel great about themselves, when they are encouraged and supported, when their place on the team is clear, when they are matched with work that is the right amount of challenge, and when they have the ability to influence the organization they are part of, they are able to do truly great work as a team and grow while doing it. I am extremely passionate about this area and I'm often discouraged that I don't get to spend as much time as I want to on it.
I really want to spend more time supporting, encouraging, guiding, clarifying, coaching and creating.
I want to rearrange my priorities according to my values.
Therefore I am today stepping down as CEO of &yet. I will be focusing on People.
In most companies this role is called "HR", but we just say "people". As it's well-put by my favorite organizational philosopher:
"People are not "things" to be manipulated, labeled, boxed, bought, and sold. Above all else, they are not "human resources." They are entire human beings, containing the whole of the evolving universe, limitless until we start limiting them." (Dee Hock)
I will also serve as "Entrepreneur at Large" in the company, working as a collaborator and supporter of people in their projects and efforts.
But this isn't just about me and my role.
People need individual support and encouragement—but they also need sustained big-picture clarity, planning, and direction.
That doesn't match well with my skills.
I'm good at creating clarity, but not good at maintaining it. I'm good at coming up with ideas but not at planning. I'm good at suggesting direction, but not good at deciding on it.
5 years ago, I met Eric Zanol. On Twitter I saw what he talked about, what he read, and what he focused on. I knew he was a frontend dev, but what surprised me is the only thing he really seemed to post on Twitter at that time were articles and thoughts about how organizations should work. We got to know each other and became casual friends.
Henrik and I took him out to lunch around 4 years ago and said we wanted him to become our COO. He said he had no experience doing this—and that was true.
Over the past 4 years, he's learned what he needed to in order to operate &yet as a company. He put in several years' worth of hours doing client work (including some of the most tedious we've ever done). He's busted his tail setting up for conferences. When people need help, he's one of the first to offer it. He's worked to resolve conflicts and coach people in doing their work. He's spent long days and late nights understanding how &yet works and thinking about how it should—not at anyone's request, but because it's what he cares about. And he's literally read books. Books!
For the past year and a half, Eric has had responsibility of our day-to-day operations as COO.
Beginning today, he'll be serving as our CEO.
And I couldn't be more excited about that.