“To say culture is a big deal at Daniel Stark is a gross understatement – it is the deal. It begins with our purpose,” Jonathan Stark said when he sat down with Advocate Capital, Inc. To keep our team aligned on our mission, we use three things: our core purpose, core values, and social contract.
Our Core Purpose
Our core purpose is to keep our clients from being screwed by big insurance companies.
There may be a more eloquent way to dress up and frame our core purpose, but our goal is to be clear and honest about what we do and how we do it.
The reality is that most people will suffer at least one, maybe two insurance losses during their lifetime. We truly believe that if someone goes against an insurance company without a qualified attorney on their side, they’re going to be taken advantage of. We’ve seen it too many times.
Our Core Values
To support that mission, we have core values. A lot of companies have these, but a sign on a wall means nothing if you don’t live out those values every day. At Daniel Stark, our core values guide everything from who to hire to how we treat our clients and each other.
Work hard, play hard.
In an industry like ours, it is impossible to leave work at the office. Instead, we believe in giving equal effort and energy to working as well as playing and recharging. When our team is at work, we expect them to give 100%. When they’re away from the office, we want them to do the same and experience life to the fullest.
Do it all, do it right, do it now.
Our clients come to us at some of the most vulnerable and challenging points of their lives. Every single step of their case is critical. That’s why our team takes on every task with a sense of urgency. Whether it’s something as serious as preparing for trial or as repetitive as organizing a client’s file, we do it all, we do it right, and we do it now.
Arms out, thumbs up.
We believe that the way you feel about someone impacts their performance. When your teammates know that you believe in them, they perform better. “Arms out” refers to being vulnerable and admitting that how your team perceives you can affect your ability to do your job. “Thumbs up” means giving positive energy, encouragement, and good thoughts to your teammates, helping them to be the best versions of themselves.
This value comes from our clients. Every day, people walk into our office buildings bringing their legal challenges to us. Over the years, we were shocked at how people going through the hardest times in their lives continued to serve their communities, do good for others, and maintain a positive attitude.
This behavior was so impressive, we couldn’t help but remark about it. It dawned on us – we want to do such incredible work for our clients that they can’t help but remark about us either.
Our Social Contract
Without getting too detailed, our social contract is a set of guidelines on how we behave when conflict arises. Any time a group of people works together, especially a group as big as ours, conflict is inevitable. Having a proven system in place allows us to not only avoid the negatives of conflict, but it often turns that conflict into a positive lesson for everyone involved. Rules like “no gossip” and “go to that person first” have proven successful time and time again.
Our social contract, core values, and core purpose allow us to keep ourselves on track and focused on our clients. According to Jonathan Stark, they’ve made our team “virtually unstoppable.”