No tolerance for bad behavior

Yavor Vassilev is running CO2 Cards, a start-up that does not tolerate the bad behavior – to people inside and outside of the company and to our Planet. CO2 Cards offers carbon neutrality to companies and their employees through connecting them with carbon offset projects around the world.

CO2 Cards is a new company, emerged from a Founder Institute chapter in Bulgaria in 2016. They are getting people committed to battle climate change problems. The way they do it is by letting companies choose a project which receives support and doing so, helping the environment while helping green projects. Yavor has had previous experience with start-ups and was certain that this let him figure out how to do things right this time. Or at least he knows a bit more about it. Isn`t that what we all wonder about?


 About values and what to look for in people:

This is the top priority in our company. At a job interview what we care about first is the value system of the potential future co-worker as that is what a company is built on – strict and specific values. If there is no fit – it won`t be a place for them, as well as the person won`t be a great addition to us too.
The second very important thing is the attitude towards people and the job itself. We do not tolerate bad behavior and we have a no conflict policy, with a zero tolerance towards this. That is what creates a healthy environment. And to us, skills come third. That is how we choose people to join our team – based on these three things.


Does that mean that there are no conflict situations in the company?

No, of course we have had some, however we address them directly as they happen. I have learned that you shall take action momentarily when something happens. Things get solved quicker, in fact they just GET solved and not postponed.
What really matters is to communicate timely – for good and bad things. Communication leads to cooperation.


I guess we all learn that after a while. Communication is not easy as we are all complicated human beings. Quite often we would avoid confronting a situation because we feel uncomfortable or unsure how to handle the person on the other side. So it is easy to just “let it go”. For some cases, that is great, as they might solve on their own, as we like to say. However, for the more serious ones where values and views are impacted, then addressing the case right away is by far the best advice. Postponing only leads to stacking the negative emotions, feelings and assumptions and when they pile up a bigger conflict bursts out.

So beforehand, spend some time getting to know the people in your organization and that means starting with yourself. There are a few simplified theories that will explain the personality styles broken down in only 4 different dimensions. A very easy to understand and implement one is the classification by Merrill and Reid. When you figure their personality style out, you will know why the others act and react in a specific way in a conflict or a non-conflict situation. You will know why you feel what you feel as you will know your style too and therefore you will be able to direct your communication style, words and overall behavior towards the one of your opponent to make sure that the conflict has a happy ending. (A nice short article by HBR on the topic.)


What can bring a company to its end:

Not living and breathing values such as good attitude towards the others, honesty, regular and timely communication, positiveness, cooperativeness.

What`s the most important thing when working with people:

To manage figuring them out – what they fight for and then to be able to provide a suitable role in the company so that the person can achieve what they strive for.


When Yavor shared that, it reminded me of a great book by Jim Collins – Good to Great, where he shared that in order to build a great company you not only need the right people (definitely) but you also need to put them in the right spots on the bus.

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