ESP IT's Blueprint


25 Principles for Placing People First

Placing people first is more than a tagline. It’s our mission and the key to our success. But it can be a bit intangible, so we developed our Blueprint of 25 everyday behaviors categorized by our core values: No Gossip, Be the Best, Be For Each Other, and Wag Your Tail.

No Gossip

Building trust is the foundation of our culture at ESP IT. The one thing that will undermine trust more than anything else is gossip. When we all refrain from gossip and are direct in our communication, we’re able to build trust with our coworkers and clients.

1. Practice Direct, Open, and Honest Communication
Be honest and direct even when topics are awkward or difficult to discuss; “verbal hugs” or softening the blow when giving criticism can make you seem disingenuous and confuse the message. When you’re willing to be vulnerable with your teammates, admit your mistakes, receive feedback without defensiveness, ask for help when you need it, and express opinions openly and passionately, the result is a foundation of trust and superior decisions.

2. Hold Self and Others Accountable to Eliminate Duplicity
It’s difficult to refrain from gossiping, and even more difficult to call someone else out. Avoid gossip by going directly to the source of your conflict and speak in a way that enables positive action. When someone comes to you and gossips, ask them, “why are you telling me this?” or express your unwillingness to participate. These responses pave the way for a truly gossip-free environment. In fact, rather than breaking that person’s trust by participating in gossip, you’ll build trust with them instead.

3. Be a Blameless Problem Solver
Refrain from placing blame and instead focus your attention on solving current problems and preventing future ones. Focus your thoughts, creativity, and energy on finding solutions, not dwelling on problems.

4. Assume People Are Good, Fair, and Honest
Approach others from a perspective of trust and assume positive intent. Most people genuinely
want to do the right thing, and we act out of this belief.

5. Listen with the Intent to Understand
When speaking with a client or coworker, provide them with your undivided attention and be
open to hearing what they have to say. Ask thoughtful questions and practice active listening.


Be the Best

Exceeding the expectations of everyone with whom we work is essential to our success. We become the best through planning, professional behavior, continuous improvement, hard work, and dedication.

6. Strive for Excellence
Regard everything you touch as a personal statement bearing your signature. Take pride in the quality of your work, for excellence matters in and of itself well beyond the probable result of such excellence. Love “the grind” and take satisfaction in doing a hard day’s work that leads to future results and success. Take extra time to do things right the first time, double check all work, and always aim to exceed expectations.

7. Do What You Say
Show respect to your teammates and clients by following through on what you say you’re going to do when you say you’re going to do it. By honoring your commitments, you build credibility, trust, and loyalty for yourself and the company.

8. Embrace Change
We have an overriding passion for continuous improvement. You can only coast one way; change is the engine that drives growth and success. Welcome change as an implementation that makes us better and be willing to give something new a try.

9. Always Be Learning
There is always room for improvement; you are not a finished product. To be the best at what you do, always look for new ways to hone your skills and seek sources for improving your knowledge.

10. Act with Integrity
Be honest, ethical, and fair in every situation. In doing so, we set ourselves apart and gain the respect and trust of our clients and teammates.

11. Set and Ask For Expectations
Learn to create mutually understood expectations so that everyone is working from the same set of assumptions. Be clear and specific in setting those expectations for your own performance and in asking for the expectations of others.

12. Plan and Anticipate
Create daily, monthly, and quarterly plans to help you focus on the most important things and achieve your goals. Look ahead to anticipate the needs, challenges, and opportunities for yourself, our clients, and ESP. Once you’ve made your plans, stick to them; don’t let distractions like email or those “urgent” but unimportant tasks get in the way of doing the main things.

13. Think Long-Term
Make decisions that reflect a reverence for lasting relationships, thinking about the long-term implications and effects, not the immediate gratification or loss.


Be For Each Other

By combining personal high achievement with a team mentality, we’re able to find success as individuals, as a company, and for our clients. Support, encourage, and work with your teammates and clients and show appreciation for the work they do.

14. Treat One Another As Equals
Value and support your coworkers and what they contribute to the team. No individual is more important than anyone else. Our roles and responsibilities are different but they are of equal importance.

15. Check Ego At The Door
Be willing to set your ego aside. Our own egos and personal agendas must never take precedence over doing what is best for the team.

16. Acknowledge the Achievements of Others
Express meaningful and appropriate recognition and appreciation for your clients’ and coworkers’ achievements, without measuring them against your own.

17, Have A Bias For Structure
Value systems and acknowledge their purpose: to save time, to help others do their jobs well, and to ensure consistent performance. Adhere to existing systems and processes and look for ways to build new ones.

18. Respect Individual Differences
Acknowledge the strengths of others, learn from each other, and use our complementary
strengths to succeed. Learn to think from others’ perspectives and walk in their shoes.

19. Give Back to the Community
In appreciation of our community, we commit to giving our time and resources to help others. Whether it be through involvement in industry groups or volunteering with organizations helping those in need, we recognize the value in giving back and strive to do so regularly, both as an organization and as individuals.

20. We Win Together
Set competition and personal gain aside and strive to work together as a team. Operate from the point of view that we’re all in this together and that any one of us cannot win at the expense of someone else or the company.


Wag Your Tail

We spend more waking hours at work than at home so enjoying what you do is important. Look for ways to keep your “tail wagging” most days when you head out for work—be passionate about what you do, get to know your coworkers, be willing to laugh at yourself, and remember, smiles are contagious.

21. Be Passionate About What You Do
Anybody can do a job, but being passionate about what you do means really caring about our industry, your job duties, and the company. Treat your work like it’s what you’re meant to do and let others catch on to your enthusiasm.

22. Laugh Often, Including at Yourself
Laughter is life’s best medicine. It literally relaxes the whole body, relieving tension and stress. By not taking yourself too seriously, using humor tastefully, and even laughing at yourself, you will put others at ease, boost the morale of the whole team, build trust, become more approachable, and be more productive and innovative. When things are hard, finding ways to laugh at the situation and/or yourself can help turn a bad day around and set you and the rest of the team up for success.

23. Have a “Glass Half-Full” Attitude
Make the choice to see the positive in people and situations when you come to work. Not every day will go exactly as planned, but by seeing the glass half-full, your positive, “can-do” attitude will get you back on track.

24. Know Your Coworkers And Clients
Take time to truly get to know your coworkers and clients. By being interested in what they do and who they are, both personally and professionally, you build more meaningful relationships and become a better partner.

25. Have Fun and Celebrate Successes
Have joyous, playful, break-the-tension fun to keep your brain fresh and your attitude positive. Pause to celebrate successes, big and small.