Not Every Superhero Wears a Cape: The Relus Cloud Value Heroes
Some good ideas take time. Thomas Edison reportedly made 1,000 unsuccessful attempts at inventing the lightbulb before he finally got his invention right. Other ideas are flashes of brilliance, spontaneous moments of inspiration. Recently, our CEO Mark Metz had one of those moments of brilliance.
About eight months ago, we formally defined Relus Cloud’s values for the first time. It was the culmination of a lot of observation (ethnographic research, really), a lot of discussion, and, more than anything, a lot of listening. The eight values we defined have been overwhelmingly embraced by Relus Cloud employees, ideals to rally behind and encourage in each other. As we prepped for our quarterly all-hands meeting a few weeks ago, Mark had an idea: he wanted to recognize eight employees who had best exemplified each of our values over the past year and he wanted each award to be named after a superhero.
Mark’s love of superhero comics dates back to childhood; one of the walls in his office is actually covered in them. There are at least 20 framed comic books hanging in there, including classics like the Green Lantern, Spiderman and the Defenders. Mark’s idea to tie our core values to superheroes was brilliant—it basically made the company’s values come to life. It was a great idea, so we quickly brainstormed to determine which superhero should be mapped to each value. So, without further ado, meet the Relus Cloud Value Heroes:
Be Honest, but not a Jerk
First of all, Wonder Woman is a badass. Her Lasso of Truth is an obvious fit for a value about communication, but the dichotomy of Wonder Woman’s character is perfect for this particular value as well. She is a powerful, strong-willed Amazonian warrior who does not back down from a fight or a challenge. Yet, she is also a skilled ambassador and advocate for peace who would never seek to unnecessarily fight or escalate a conflict. She’s simultaneously the fiercest and most diplomatic member of the Justice League. Gal Gadot, who plays the character in the most recent Wonder Woman movie, describes her like this: “An idealist. Experienced, super-confident. Open and sincere, even in the midst of a gruesome, bloody conflict. Having many strengths and powers, but at the end of the day she’s a woman with a lot of emotional intelligence.”
Be the Customer’s Hero
Superman is literally the superhero archetype: a brave and down-to-earth hero with a strong sense of justice, morality, and righteousness. Not to mention, he’s faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a locomotive, and able to leap tall buildings in a single bound. Superman is a cultural icon and sets the standard for all other superheroes, making him the clear choice to represent our value of “Be the Customer’s Hero.” All it takes is one call, and Clark Kent can go to a phone booth, transform into Superman, and save the day. In a similar way, we are equipped to come to the customer’s rescue at a moment’s notice.
Win as a Team, Lose as a Team
The Fantastic Four are a good example of the importance of teamwork. Mister Fantastic, the Invisible Woman, the Human Torch, and the Thing all have their own individual strengths that they bring to the table, but the group collectively is stronger as a whole than any single one of them is on their own. They squabble occasionally, but, in times of crisis, the Fantastic Four prove themselves to be a cohesive and formidable team. Everyone is able to put aside their personal agendas to pursue and achieve their shared goal.
Be Fast. Be Flexible. Be Resilient
The Flash’s power consists mainly of superhuman speed, so obviously he fits the fast criteria for this value. But his speed has several secondary applications that make him the perfect fit beyond just being quick. The Speed Force gives him superhuman durability and regenerative healing powers, as well as the endurance to run incredible distances. Through "speed-reading,” he can process and absorb vast amounts of information into his short-term memory in seconds. He was even able to learn how to use the Speed Force to make quicker decisions, to the point where he feels like he can see everything before it happens. Much like the Flash, we’re always looking around the corner for our customers, helping them make strategic technology decisions that will enable the long-term growth of their business.
Work Hard and Hustle
Batman doesn’t really have any special powers or superhuman abilities. He wasn’t bitten by a radioactive spider or exposed to gamma rays; his superhero origin story is rooted in sheer willpower and drive. He saves the day by being smart, working hard and getting sh*t done. He’s an example of how if we set our mind to something, we can do or be anything we choose to be. With a gritted determination, Batman works tirelessly to protect the city of Gotham from evil villains yet also somehow finds the time to run Wayne Enterprises, a multinational conglomerate worth millions—a true hustler.
Act Like an Owner
Captain America immediately and effortlessly establishes himself as the leader of every group in which he's involved. He is considered perhaps the most American of heroes, but the classical virtues he represents harken back to the days of the Ancient Greeks: courage, loyalty, humility, justice, sacrifice and perseverance. Steve Rogers is a patriotic soldier, driven by duty and honor; but he’s not blindly allegiant. When the U.S. government falls short of its ideals, he holds it and himself accountable. He will always put his team first. Captain America represents leadership at its best and demonstrates what it means to “Act Like an Owner.”
Continuously Improve and Continuously Develop (The Relus CI/CD Framework)
The Hulk’s transformation metaphor makes this superhero a fitting match for a value about personal development and growth. Dr. Bruce Banner is considered a genius in nuclear physics, possessing a mind so brilliant that it cannot be measured on any known intelligence test. He also has expertise in biology, chemistry, engineering, medicine and physiology. Despite being arguably one of the smartest men in the world (Tony Stark would even admit to it), Bruce Banner is never satisfied with “good enough.” He’s a lifelong learner, continually tinkering away and passionately pursuing a cure for his condition. It was Bruce’s relentless intellectual curiosity that led him to get dosed with gamma radiation and even become the Hulk in the first place, after all. Undergoing both physical and personal transformations, the Hulk was built using the Relus CI/CD Framework.
Pay it Forward
Every member of the Justice League has their own personal archnemesis: Superman will fight Lex Luthor into eternity, while Batman will always be at odds with the Joker. All of the superheroes in the Justice League are fighting their own battles, but, collectively, they’re ultimately all united under the mission of making the world a better place. This inclination to “do good” takes many different forms—Superman saves children from burning buildings, Wonder Woman is an international ambassador for peace. But, at the end of the day, they are all motivated by a duty to serve. They help when they see it is needed, not just when asked. The Justice League is a prime example of “Pay it Forward.”
Defining Relus Cloud’s values was one of those ideas that took a long time. It was a challenging process that required some serious soul-searching from everyone—our employees, our leadership team and myself included. In comparison, the Relus Cloud Value Heroes were a frenzied 48 hours of creative vision. They represent the ideals and principles we stand for as a company—do any of the Relus Cloud Value Heroes sound like you? We’re always looking to add more superheroes to our ranks, so check our Careers page and find out how to join our team.