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Emojis in a Brand, You Ask? Passion without Emotion, I ask?

Jacqueline (Jaqi) Saleem

Jacqueline (Jaqi) Saleem Published Feb 10, 2022

Strategy

"There's no crying in baseball."

- Tom Hanks, A League of Their Own

Sorry Tom, on this one, we just don't agree. I do love ya to bits though.

I just believe that emotions are a superpower and not a thing to hide or feel ashamed of. They are the secret ingredient in passion, and creating a culture that doesn’t give permission to express what’s happening for you is not of interest to us. When we started working on our new brand, we incorporated emojis as a subtle way of promoting an environment where we are not precious or sorry about having and sharing the feels.

They are also just really fun, and so are we. So overall, super on brand.

In all seriousness though, passion is one of the most important things that the team here brings to the table. It drives our best work, and unstoppable results. The reality is that you don’t just get the positive emotions without the hard ones too. I believe you need to acknowledge it all for people to be truly healthy, and not accidentally stifle that drive.

Behind every starry-eyed emoji ✨, there is a puking emoji 🤢. If you don't hold its hair, it won’t deliver the sparkle.

QD offers top talent, which really means our product is top humans 🤖.

And what could be more human than emotions? I have felt the impact in my career of shoving it all down, and had the unfortunate experience of being called emotional a few too many times. It is not because I cried over hard feedback or friction (My cry is actually a rare sighting outside of good screening of Beaches). What was being commented on was actually my passion on given topics paired with some good old fashion discomfort when women change their tone 💨. Now, if someone were to call me emotional, I would just 🙏 them.

According to a 2018 survey by Sprout Social, 86 percent of Americans say transparency from businesses is more important than ever before.

Transparency attracts quality candidates – and retains employees.

Transparency is critical, and sharing your weaknesses is as important as sharing your strengths.

I believe that more than ever, sharing your fears and flaws is essential to not just gaining trust, but also demonstrating that there is no magic fairy dust sprinkled at the top. It makes the executive positions more accessible to the next generation, and hopefully creates a safer and more comfortable way of working in the future.

Best kept secret: Leaders and executives are not without the same fears everyone experiences, they maybe just got great at hiding it for some misguided attempt to look strong. You can be terrified, and still take the jump. You can have anxiety and still lead the pack. You will make mistakes, and still have to apologize and acknowledge it. In fact, I think all the successful executives that I know make the most mistakes, fear the biggest failures and definitely need to apologize more.

We are all mere mortals, and for me, the things that make me feel the weakest at time tend to be the things that propel me to be my strongest.

I will talk about my feelings openly and often, and I will plaster the town with emojis until it catches on. Maybe not everyone is comfortable with that, but I think that is society’s problem, not mine. If you agree with Mr. Hanks, there are plenty of places you can play baseball. We are trying to do something different here.

“Passion is energy. Feel the power that comes from focusing on what excites you.”

— Oprah Winfrey

"There's no crying in baseball."

It's not about being woke, it is about making the best work with great people.
The more comfortable we allow our teams to be, the more they can bring their whole selves to work, the better results we will see. It is not just about social progress, it is about all progress. We want to do the best everything.

My hope is that we can exemplify a culture with no “costume changes,” and still outperform the industry. You meet the same person in a serious meeting as you would in any facet of their life. Customers choose us and keep us because we deliver great work and big results. It is certainly not because we dressed and presented like we were going to do their taxes.

You do you, boo.

I will close with my final 80s reference. In the words of the OG Power Woman, Madonna:

“Express Yourself.”

🎤drop.

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