Michael McDerment is CEO and Co-Founder of FreshBooks, the #1 accounting software in the cloud designed exclusively for service-based business owners and independent professionals, with more than 20 million users worldwide. Mike has spent the last decade making accounting software accessible to small businesses and is co-author of Breaking the Time Barrier, which helps professionals better price their services, and has seen more than 350,000 downloads since its release in 2013. Since its inception, FreshBooks has scaled to almost 300 employees and is consistently recognized as one of Canada's best places to work.In this episode, Stew and Mike talk about how Mike has created a workplace culture in which his employees don’t have to wear what he calls a “work face”; where they can feel safe to bring their whole selves to work. They discuss some of the creative “culture hacks” Mike uses to build an environment that breeds empathy. Examples: every hire starts by working in customer service for a month, everyone can reward another employee with a gift card for embodying and demonstrating the core values of the organization, people are invited to go to coffee on “blind dates” with those in the company whom they don’t know, and team members are trusted to use their own judgment and structure their time as long as they’re accomplishing their work goals. Mike’s approach at Freshbooks is indeed a fresh take on leadership and culture and it’s been proven successful in the employee and customer loyalty it breeds.