Jitasa Nonprofit Blog

A Message from the CEO of Jitasa

What do you believe?

As part of re-branding from Easy Office to Jitasa, we spent considerable time talking about “Who do we want to be?”, “Why do we do what we do?”, and other introspective questions.  We have been in operation for about 5 years and had gained many new teammates along the way - about 70 employees.  As the Founder I wanted to ensure that as we grew, we stayed true to our core values and true to why we started in the first place.

The first thing we did was go through the official B-Corp certification process.  I was encouraged that we passed with flying colors on the first try – without adjusting any of our processes, policies, or procedures.  In that, it validated who we already are.  But more importantly, it put a stake in the ground for the future – this is who we will remain.

The second thing I did was to begin to ask employees, “What do you think are our core values?”  I quickly learned that there was no single answer.  Answers ranged from “transparency”, “giving back”, “creative”, “focused”, “energetic”, “fun”, “servants”, etc.  It made me realize that I needed to do a better job of articulating the core values I believed in and that I wanted Jitasa to embody.

After a period of introspection as a team, we ultimately landed on these 3 core values.

•    Conscientious
•    Disciplined
•    Gracious

We are conscientious about those around us – our cube mates, our bosses, our clients, and our suppliers.  We work in a disciplined business – never ending waves of work keep coming.  I often say our staff are guardians – no one says “thanks" to the security guard when the bank isn't robbed.  But we do hear about it when security breaks down.  Accounting is an unrelenting disciplined business.  It requires daily, weekly, and monthly habits and rituals followed meticulously and without fail.

It’s interesting, when we went through the process to narrow in our core values, the first two core values were unanimously agreed to.  The third was one that I had to exercise my veto power and add.  I felt strongly that in a disciplined business where 99% accurate doesn’t cut it (who wants a 99% accurate paycheck?), we had to have a balance.  Grace.  We needed to have grace with each other when we fail.  We needed to have grace with clients who may not always get us deliverables with enough time, and then need turnaround urgently.  We needed grace with our bosses who can be quite imperfect.  But most importantly, we needed to have grace with ourselves.  Accountants are quiet type-A’s – not boisterous extraverts - they are hard on themselves when they fail or don’t quite measure up.  Grace and Discipline have a nice yin-yang feel and they counter balance each other.

So I hope, in 10 years, we can look around Jitasa and see that we’re being conscientious, disciplined in our work, and gracious with ourselves and those around us.

Jeff Russell, CEO/Founder, Jitasa

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