The Container Store just held Our Leadership Conference in June, which brought together leaders from our stores, office and distribution center to connect with each other and re-focus on our culture, our Foundation Principles and Conscious Capitalism so that our employees can be the best they can be for each other, the company and all of our stakeholders. It’s an incredibly inspiring and exciting event - watch our highlight video to see firsthand the excitement, love and learning shared during the conference, and read below for one employee’s takeaways from this very special event.
I consider myself a “new hire” here, which is funny to think as I am actually celebrating my one year anniversary this month. We have employees who have been here for 10, 15, 20, even 25+ years and I barely have 1 year under my belt. I look at my time at The Container Store in two different ways: one being the fact that it’s already been a year, and then the exact opposite – how has it only been a year when it’s felt like I was always here?
I’m not going to lie. My transition to The Container Store was not easy. While I was excited about the responsibility I was immediately given in my new role and inspired by the work I was doing, I underestimated the overall mental and emotional difficulties that come with changing jobs and transitioning from a workplace where everyone knew me to a place where I was the new kid on the block. I had to start over, meet new people, and build my reputation here. My walls went up as I struggled through this. After several months, things eased up as I was falling into the swing of things, but those walls never fully came down.
Cue our 2015 Leadership Conference. This was my first professional conference associated with my job and I had no idea what to expect. We had all of our store management teams here, a wonderful line up of speakers including our own executives and VPs, tons of events and engagement activities to participate in, and it was held at The Gaylord Texan in Grapevine, TX. It seemed like it’d be a great time, right?
This conference left me in shock and awe, to the point where I was at a loss for words for several days. It was hands down the most incredible and impactful event that I’ve attended in my professional career. The speakers were engaging and inspiring – you could tell their words touched all of us in a way that made us feel proud to work for an organization like ours. I would compare everyone there to family members that I’ve known for years, when in reality, I’ve known them for just a few short hours or a couple of days by the end of the event. It was amazing to see so many people in one place who shared this common passion for our company.
One of my biggest takeaways from the conference is the beauty of vulnerability and how it’s vital in all areas of your life, especially your professional life. It was then I realized that’s what I’ve been lacking this entire time! The walls I’ve built up have been so high and I haven’t truly given myself a chance to thrive because I haven’t been vulnerable.
Cue walls tumbling down. I feel overwhelmed with the amount of passion and love this company has for its employees, its customers, and its stakeholders. I’m so happy that I can call The Container Store my home. The only thing I can compare it to is I feel like I’ve fallen in love for the first time again. You know that feeling of an epiphany or that you’ve, metaphorically speaking, been hit by a bus – that physical feeling that you get in your head and your heart and your stomach and all the emotions that come with it when you realize that you care so deeply about someone or something? That’s how I feel now, and it feels so good.
I think back to the time in my college days at The University of North Texas when I attended the 2012 Retail’s Big Show conference with the National Retail Federation Student Association. I sat in the audience as Kip Tindell, co-founder and CEO of The Container Store, stood proudly on the stage and explained to the retail world how Conscious Capitalism has made his company an outstanding one to support and work for, and I never dreamed I’d be here. Well, here I am…a part of the greatest family in the world and the start of something big!