We can’t build a billion dollar enterprise, accidentally. Think big. Be irreverent to the status quo, constraints and competition.
Build with empathy
Our customers face stress, uncertainty, time and information scarcity daily at their work. We shouldn’t add to it. Our product should be their escape from the grind.
Be Articulate, Direct and Civil
Communicate in a manner that the receipient understands you exactly the way you want them to. Have tough conversations, argue, give feedback, without being abrasive.
Do not beat around the bush
Good work happens when we challenge each other. You cannot challenge without criticizing others’ works. Even if it’s a friend, you are doing her a disservice by not being honest when giving feedback or avoiding feedback.
You cannot produce your life’s work without being drawn into it. Gravitate to that which motivates you because we can’t build a great business without you loving what you do.
Don’t avoid conflicts
Conflicts exist whether you address them or avoid them. Bring them out in the open before it’s late. Don’t make people guess your intentions. Confront issues and resolve them in a manner that is equitable.
Be data driven
Take all business decisions based on data. This means, data has to be presented to confirm or reject a decision. We need to be aware why something is working and why something is not. Do not substitute uncomfortable data with feel good ones.
Be dependable like a soldier
At work, you make explicit and implicit commitments. Your colleagues, prospects and customers expect you to do something. Never let them down when it comes to keeping up time, quality of work or frequency of communication.
Even if they don’t expect, do the right thing. If you cannot do the right thing by the expected time, call people and inform with empathy. Take ‘on-the-spot’ empathetic decisions to make up for any imperfect experience.
Surprising people negatively is not being dependable.
Be your own critic. Go back to work and see if a pixel could have been better or if a demo could have had a little more showmanship. Redoing is progress.
We cannot impact one of the oldest professions in the world without us taking ownership of things that are beyond our job descriptions. Throw yourself in to build, fix or improve. We’re a flat organization by purpose.
Don’t be cynical
Nothing kills a team like cynicism. Argue all you want upfront but once you get into it, believe!
Be consistent, but be open to change
The best leaders are known for consistency of thought, work and communication. That being said, they are also the ones to change opinions fast, if they think they are wrong. Build your opinion quickly but be ready to change it without ego. That’s the only way you grow as a leader.
Be fun to be with
We’re going to spend most of our hours together, for a long time. Make it a fun experience. We like people who make the place come alive.
PS: You know why ‘fun’ is the last thing on the agenda? Because, this will be the first thing in your memory once you look up and look around, while at work :)!