Our overriding objective is excellence, or more precisely, constant improvement at CSO Capital. First and foremost, we aspire to foster a culture of excellence that results in a superb and constantly improving company in all respects. We believe in a hierarchy free environment that encourages honesty and directness. Conflict in the pursuit of excellence is a terrific thing and is strongly encouraged, in fact demanded. Naturally, with exchanges of conflicting opinions, differences in conclusions are sometimes going to remain. Clearly this approach isn't perfect, but it is the best we know and believe it is the most likely to foster excellence.
The biggest impediment to improvement in most companies is that people tend to tie their egos to problems and, as a result, are reluctant to identify and talk openly. They inevitably view identifying problems as personal attacks and shy away from dealing with them. Instead, criticism should be viewed as constructive, not destructive. Mistakes are good things - if we learn from them and improve. What matters most is how people deal with them. If we objectively diagnose mistakes and establish ways of not repeating them, that's great. Lack of criticism implies lack of progress and is anathema to our philosophy.
We believe that another ingredient for success is team spirit. By team spirit, we are referring to 1) one's recognition of the responsibilities one has to help the team achieve its common goals and 2) the willingness to help others (i.e. work within a group) toward these common goals. This involves the realization that CSO Capital is a community in which our fates are intertwined. For the company to be successful every area of the company must work very well; if one area fails, the system breaks down. As the saying goes, we are as strong as our weakest link, and this is why the individual must recognize his or her importance and obligations to the whole organization. There is a clear correlation between pursuing excellence and achieving happiness and a poor correlation between having money and having happiness. For us "success" measured in financial terms is a consequence, not a goal in itself. If we operate consistent with this philosophy, we all will be very productive, and the company will do well financially. The company is like an ecosystem in that for us to flourish, people have to be both productive and nourished. There has to be a healthy balance at CSO Capital as reflected by our philosophy. While everything else will change, this philosophy will remain the same and describes how we will approach change. CSO Capital today is, except for the philosophy, very different than it was a few years ago and will be like a few years from now. The course of our evolution is a function of this philosophy.