Our leadership principles
Some of the mistakes that happened in the past resulted from the fact that we had some people at the top of the organization that were acting as bosses, not leaders. Instead of inspiring people and making sure that the vision and values are being brought to life, they were bossing people around while enjoying the view from the rear seat without being held accountable. That’s unfair to competent team members and not part of the culture we’d like to build and it will never happen again. Bosses were and will always be eradicated. They just do not have a place in our organization and as long as we are operating we will make sure this is the case.
Today our leaders are being trained to become even better leaders. They’ll have to be role models, they’ll have to work at least as hard as their team, they’ll have to grow their people, to build their own team of leaders and managers, they’ll have to safeguard and promote the company’s values and culture, and they’ll have to strive to bring our vision to life and they will be accountable for that.
We do not want bosses to steer our boat—that’s for sure. We want the leadership of our company to be in the hands of competent leaders who are fanatic about our vision and values.
We have been inspired by Amazon to create our own Leadership Principles which we train our people on and which we live by every day, whether we’re discussing ideas for new projects or deciding on the best approach to solve a problem. Here they are:
1. Be customer obsessed
Leaders start with the customer and work backwards. They work vigorously to earn and keep customer trust. Although leaders pay attention to competitors, they obsess over customers.
2. Take ownership
Leaders are owners. They act on behalf of the entire company, beyond just their own team. They take responsibility for their own bit. They commit and deliver. They never say "that’s not my job".
Less is more. Leaders always find ways to simplify, to make things easier and more intuitive, while keeping an eye on design and esthetics. They create pleasant experiences to internal and external clients.
4. Learn and be curious
Leaders are never done learning and always seek to improve themselves. They are curious about new possibilities and act to explore them.
5. Hire and develop talent
Leaders raise the performance bar with every hire and promotion. They spot people with exceptional talent, recognize them and do what they can to help them grow. They are very serious about their coaching role.
6. Insist on the highest standards
Leaders continually raise the bar and drive their teams to deliver high quality work. Many people may think these standards are unreasonably high but this is perfectly fine. Leaders ensure that problems are fixed and that they stay fixed forever.
7. Think big
Thinking big is a self-fulfilling prophecy. Leaders have bold ideas that help bring our vision to life. They communicate them eloquently, lead and inspires their team to execute them.
8. Have a bias for action
Speed matters, so leaders execute, knowing that “done is better than perfect". This means they ship quality work quickly, knowing that any work is work in progress and continuous improvement will always be needed.
9. Be resourceful
Accomplish more with less. Constraints leads to creativity, smart solutions, and inventions. Leaders do not value growing headcount or expenses.
10. Earn trust
Leaders listen attentively, speak honestly, and treat others respectfully. They are vocally self-critical and they compare themselves and their teams against the best.
11. Stay connected to details
Leaders operate at all levels and stay connected to the details. They audit and sample check frequently, and are skeptical when results are not of quality. No task is beneath them.
12. Disagree or commit
Leaders respectfully challenge decisions when they disagree, even when doing so is uncomfortable or exhausting. Leaders do not compromise for the sake of social cohesion. But once a decision is agreed-on, they commit wholly.
13. Deliver Results
Leaders focus on their business and deliver results with the right quality and in a timely manner. Despite setbacks, they rise and never compromise.