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What you do is who you are

Virtues > Values. Dont just say “Do the right thing.” Describe what right is, how right you want to be, and make it very obvious. When you let something your employee does slide, you have set a new standard. Eg: If they once scraped data illegally and got something minor done, you have now made it okay to do illegal things at work if needed.

Create shocking rules. Make it memorable, makes people ask Why, rule should be applied daily. I loved the VMware story attached to this, Partnerships were always 49/51, VM at former. It was a bizarre rule, but it created some stunning deals, because now BD team could do what was needed to close, it gave the company a market cap of over $60B.

Demonstrate Priority. When you are building a company, that might probably pivot, don’t just say “Hey this new shiny thing is of utmost importance. ” Show it deliberately. When Netflix was moving towards streaming biz, to show how serious they were, Hastings kicked out all DVD execs from weekly meets. Took some insane guts to do this.

Dont just adopt random culture, without understanding why. Intel allowed casual dressing to promote meritocracy. Many companies allow for casual dressing, but dont carry the reason into the culture. Change culture by constantly following up. When you want to say improve growth of your product, dont just wonder WHY it is not happening. Keep asking the people about roadblocks, get them fixed and DONT STOP till you get your goal.

Dont change yourself into someone you are not, but work on the feedback you get. If you are someone that has long meetings, with no agenda in place & your given this feedback. Improve on it, dont let your personal style affect the company. Pick the culture that helps with your strategy.

Dont be frugal if youre a design agency, dont be extravagant if you are a dev shop. If your org is indecisive & cant make decisions quickly, It doesnt matter how many great hires you make the culture you create is the one that’s indecisive in its nature.

How do you know when the culture is broken? Wrong people are quitting, top priorities are messed up, an employee does something that shocks you, because that was not your culture.

There are so many chapters, that I think managers/founders should revisit and read as the company evolves. It really gives you perspective about how to establish a culture that works truly for you.

Published 20 Apr 2021

Always looking for learning opportunities in product and life.
Vindhya C on Twitter