Saturday, December 5, 2009

Aspen Skiing Company: Renew the Human Spirit

Hello hello gentle reader! Thank you so much for your patience! Its been a week and a half since I posted, it feels like its been an eternity. I'm gonna go a little out of order here, and just get em up, I have so much to write about! Mike gave me a little voice recorder so I've been able to make little notes about post topics that occur to me.

On Thursday, I had my first "official" Aspen Ski Co. meeting, we went to New Hire Orientation where we filled out sooo much paperwork... this is the first time that I've worked for a large corporation, and while I've seen Tom go through it when he got hired at RightNow, and my mom used to administrate stuff like this as the head of HR for some huge silicon valley companies, I've never been a cog in a wheel like this. It feels... beautiful!

Aspen Ski Co seems to have managed to become an enormous, well oiled machine that does not let the very important aspect of valuing its employees slip through the cracks while it continues to grow.

At orientation, we were not only told what would be expected of us, but we were told what we could expect from the company. This message, I think the message that every company wishes it could send, is one that seems to have delivered itself just by the virtue of how the company is run, what its core principals are, and the people that they hire. I've heard this about the Ski Co, it was one of Outside Magazine's Top 10 places to work in 2008, but I was always a bit skeptical of it.

Of course everyone who works here thinks its the greatest place to work, that's how you recruit people to work somewhere! But then I thought about that for a minute longer... I've never actually worked somewhere where everyone I talked to was happy with their job and grateful to work at this particular company. People readily say there is room for improvement. People say its a work in progress. But people also say its the best place they've ever worked.

So here it is. The mission statement of the Aspen Skiing Company is: Renew the Human Spirit. That's it. How do they do it? By honoring the Mind, Body and Spirit. The Ski Co is committed to being here for the long haul, and they aren't focused on luxury. They are focused on opportunity for excellence. The result of this... its the best ski experience in the country, and therefore its where those who love luxury travel.

I'm so very excited to join this team! Its something that Kurt and I used to talk about quite a bit. "What's the point? I'm a ski instructor. What does that do in the big picture?"

I'll tell you what it does in the big picture. It is yet another opportunity to wake someone up. To put their feet in touch with the earth, their skin in touch with the sun and the wind. Its an opportunity to show them that they are so much more than they ever imagined. They can do more, and be more, and they will leave here and cary that idea into their other work, home to their kids, and their spouses, and if we are lucky... that will ripple out and touch thousands of people.

And not because they could afford to do an expensive sport at an exclusive resort. Heck, I have about $220 to my name right now, and I ski all the time at this place. Its because here, in Aspen, there is a collection of people who believe that its important to be outside, its important to breathe, to play, and to be free for even just a day. It renews you.


Unknown said...

Kate- Been interesting to see your blog- this is a minor thing , but the spelling is Mike Kaplan for our boss- he is one of the best I've seen here in my 31 years with the company. reading about your slipping adventures reminds me of the times I slipped the course- definitely have to keep moving! Betsy Lincicome- BM Pro Services

Unknown said...

Great post! Glad I've visited your blog. It was really worth reading for. Hoping for more articles to read here on your blog. Thanks for the post! Keep it up and more power.


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