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Thoughts from Rho’s CEO: Behaviors I Expect from Each Employee

Posted by Brook White on Thu, Aug 15, 2013 @ 10:11 AM


CEO Russ Helms

The following article comes from Rho’s CEO Russ Helms who would like to share some thoughts on topics that he sees as important to Rho and our business.

Previously, I have written about Rho’s core values and how we evaluate employee performance.  These two concepts come together to create a set of behaviors I expect from every employee at Rho.  


  • Do not gossip or speak ill of those who are not present.
  • Catch people doing things right and tell them so.
  • Be accountable for your own work; no blaming or complaining.
  • Always tell the whole truth as fast as you can.
  • Talk straight: express yourself without laying blame. Fulfill your commitments. Be on time to work and to meetings.

Agility and Adaptability

  • Be willing to tackle any reasonable request or challenge.
  • Understand that there is always something you can do better. If experiencing difficulties or conflicts, focus first on yourself.
  • Continuously develop a comfort level and skill with switching between the high level and strategic to the tactical and operational.


  • Be aware of and responsible for the financial implications of everything you do.
  • Work to eradicate costly mistakes and rework from your work.
  • Ask yourself frequently how your role(s) can contribute to the ongoing financial success of Rho.


  • Focus on quality and accuracy in all that you do.
  • Plan ahead to avoid fires and crises.
  • Keep track of your own work and deadlines.
  • Keep your calendar up to date.
  • Respond to email, voicemail, and calendar requests in a timely manner.
  • Be 100% accountable to both the results of your work and its impact on others.
  • Never use criticism of others to deflect feedback on how you can improve.


  • Think about better ways to do things; don't cling to past practice.
  • Listen openly and actively to those with different opinions. You may learn something new and important.
  • Consider whether there is a better way of handling a situation.
  • Never let "But this is how we've always done it" be an excuse for not embracing change.


  • Get the work done on time and under budget.
  • Treat both internal and external customers with respect. Repeat customers are good for business.
  • Strategically plan your work and resources to allow for smooth transitions and business continuity.
  • Do not say it is not your problem. If it is happening here, it's everyone's problem. Look for a solution.

To Think Critically and Creatively

  • Be positive towards new challenges.
  • Offer solutions when pointing out problems.
  • Be supportive of new ideas, even if you don't agree with them.
  • When evaluating a new situation or problem, seek to understand what success will look like and what it will require.
  • Be fully ready for past solutions not to work for new situations.
  • Force yourself to look at things in new ways.
  • Evaluate ideas on their merits, regardless of the source.

Great People

  • Celebrate your own and others' successes; share the credit.
  • Assume the best from your team mates.
  • Do not impugn the motives of colleagues. Assume their motives are in the best interest of Rho.
  • Respect your co-workers. This means that you do not pound on the table, raise your voice, or roll your eyes.
  • Even when using persuasion by reason and facts, be careful that you are not bullying or manipulating.
  • Be kind and polite to everyone, all the time.
  • Be coachable; accept feedback on its merits even if you don't necessarily agree with it.
  • Be careful with jokes and swear words. What is ok with you may not be so with others.

A Team Culture

  • Be kind and polite to colleagues. Listen openly to those with different opinions.
  • Help each other out; offer help and ask for help when needed.
  • Contribute your strengths while continuing to improve on your known weaknesses.
  • Work with peers and teammates to solve problems in a collaborative manner.
  • Exhaust all solutions at the peer level before escalating issues.
  • Advocate for something, not against something.
  • Remember that you have to do it, but you don't have to do it alone.
  • Encourage people to engage with you and disagree with you.
  • Be aware of positional differences and perceptions when working with others. Make an effort to put people at ease.
  • Frequently express appreciation for specific actions.
  • Praise in public, criticize only in private.
Not only are these behaviors critical to our success as a business, they also are a critical component helping make Rho a great place to work.