This Executive’s Holiday Send-Off Might Surprise You

December 18th, 2017 Daisy Smith

Being an employee at 14 West comes with a number of perks. Opportunity (if you are smart, and willing to push yourself and others) is one you hear a lot about. But this holiday send-off from one of the organization’s leaders was the perfect reminder of another pretty major privilege: realness from the top down.

This was his message…


2017 was an incredibly successful year. We’ve set new records for almost everything we track.

Yet this incredible success comes with challenges. Even to maintain the level at which our businesses are performing would be a feat.  But of course we aren’t interested in maintenance. We’ve always believed in trying new things, learning and growing.

And so I suggest that this holiday season you read a book.

Complete a puzzle with family, reconnect with a friend, watch an old movie. Gain your energy back, because you’ll need it. 2018 will require an aggressive pace just to be sure we stay put, let alone break through.

For now, I’d like to wish you a happy, healthy, and restful holiday. And I’ll look forward to seeing you back in the New Year.

And this is what I love about it…

  • It’s simple. As far as holiday send-offs go – particularly from executives – it is refreshingly down to earth. Nothing about it feels artificially-amped up or overly “handled.”
  • It’s honest. Having been here for just a little over a year, and having seen the incredible growth that has happened in that short amount of time, it can be a little humbling to think about my role in the “big picture.” But messages like this one remind me that people have real expectations from me, which not only feels really good but rings true to the messaging I’ve seen consistently since setting foot in the door.
  • It’s real. If you’re a business leader, please take note. There is nothing worse than receiving a “personal” message, and realizing it’s a dressed-up piece of some kitschy campaign that was pulled together in a room full of Marketing, HR, or Revenue folks. This, on the other hand, is something he believes people who have worked hard all year should be doing over the holiday season – recharging, unplugging, and gearing up for what’s to come in the New Year.

I for one plan to take his advice – and to come back in the new year guns blazing.

So stay tuned. Because we’ve got big plans for 14 West in 2018, and we’re planning to share a lot of them through WestWord.

Daisy Smith

Assistant Director, Communications

"Don’t take yourself too seriously.”

I found myself at 14 West after 18 months of traveling and teaching in Bali, Thailand, and Australia. And now 5 years later, I’ve learned and grown with my team in extraordinary ways. I think that’s due in large part to the fact that I’ve been encouraged to approach my work and explore my potential in the same ways I’ve explored other parts of the world. I’m constantly asking questions, seeing and doing new things. And learning A LOT. I didn’t expect to find an experience like this in “an office back home.”

I love my position at 14 West because I’m invited to take on a diverse range of responsibilities. From running our Wellness Program to brand development and brand marketing to writing, I have a broad range of interests. And my role allows me to develop my skills through work that truly excites me. I have a hard time saying no to new projects, even when I already have a full plate. But when I take on too much, the leaders here are there with the support I need to get the job done. At the same time, I’m given the creative freedom to feel real ownership over my projects, which only motivates me more.

What is one thing you have to do every day in the office? Gotta have my essential oil diffuser going. Five of us share an office and we’re all hooked on the diffuser now, but it’s my job to create the perfect oil cocktail each morning to set the tone for the day. I’m obsessed.