My favorite truism is that it’s always better to give than to receive.
It’s the feeling you get surprising your little brother on Christmas morning or donating a Thanksgiving meal to a family in need.
After my conversation with father-daughter duo Steve and Ayelet Lax, the team behind international shoe brand Naot, it’s clear that the truism applies to their family as well.
While the Lax’s have achieved tremendous success with Naot it’s their commitment to serving those around them that defines their work.
The dedication runs deep for Steve and his wife Susan who chose to buy Naot to preserve the company’s Israeli manufacturing. Since its founding in 1942, thousands of Muslims, Jews, and Israelis have assembled the shoes on a farm in Northern Israel.
In addition to donating thousands of shoes to local shelters each month, the Lax’s mission to make each team member feel like a part of the family is the driving force behind their success.
Despite Steve’s journey leading Naot to be the world’s leading comfort brand, he still sweeps the floor and unloads trucks with his team.
He even teaches a course called Zen and the Art of Sweeping to demonstrate the importance of founders playing an active role in company operations.
The people that make you successful are the ones you work with every day.
Naot’s family culture stems from the fact that they are a family, and it’s the reason I admire them most. Their decision to include team members in the close unit that once shipped shoes out of their basement makes Naot a safe haven for employees to learn and grow.
If you’re a little kid watching your parents count their dollars to see how much they can pay for food that week and then seeing it become a very profitable business; Being part of that process is really wonderful because you get to work with everything from filing at 14, to answering the phones and packing.
To this, Steve responds: “I don’t think any of us took anything for granted. We still don’t.”
Despite having more five-star reviews than I can count (seriously, take a look at their Zappos rating), being recognized as the world’s best travel shoes, and even being worn by Katniss in The Hunger Games, the best word to describe the Lax family is humble.