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As a 38 leader at a Brand that lives in this space everyday, Hallmark, I have been living the impact of EQ company for all my career.  

The EQ of the Hallmark brand starts with the private, family ownership, third generation, and is woven into the culture of the company.  This mission of the company is to help enrich the lives of people, around the world, everyday.  It’s products, greeting cards, gift wrap, Keepsake Ornaments and all others are developed with this single goal in mind.

The brand and it’s impact on consumer’s lives everyday drives the decisions of the leadership.

These are specific examples of having a high cultural EQ and its impact on business decisions:

1)  You make investment choices for the long view vs. the short term gain for short term success.  Countless times, I have been part of the process where, as a company, we made long term decisions that made us less money right now but was better for the Brand and the employees. There were times we paid zero bonuses for middle and upper managers but did not reduce the size of the workforce. We made decisions to retain or acquire new business that would have greater benefit down the road but gave significant employment to people then vs. later.

2)  You develop long term customer relationships.  Business relationships are built over years and must navigate good economies, tough economies, good and bad decisions. If a company has a high EQ, you are there for your customers during the tough times.  Great companies with high EQ partner with their customers with their intellectual capital and best thinking on issues like diversity and inclusion, recruiting and developing millennial talent, how to be a better  “Green Company”, education and other issues.  It’s not a competitive environment, it a collaborative, problem solving process.

3)  You take the long view on employees.  Companies with high EQ invest in the development of its workforce, including technical skills but also personal enrichment.  For example, our creative teams get about 10 days a year, fully paid, to go explore their passion to help the re-charge their batteries.  Senior leaders are given funds twice a year to go invest in themselves to get healthier, chase a dream or relax.  Employees that are having a touch year are coached and trained to get to better performance vs immediate 90 performance plans.


It’s been a great journey to be a part of a business that lives in a high EQ mode.

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