Without clear, shared values, we wander independently and contradict one another. Everything’s harder when we all believe different things about what’s important to us, our company.
Whenever we speak – internally or externally – we should speak plainly and clearly. Watch out for lingo, assumptions, exaggeration, or other things that get in the way of a straightforward explanation. This doesn’t mean we strip the poetry and personal expression from our language, but it’s got to make sense. With the exception of deep technical discussions, anyone who reads what we collectively write should simply get it without further explanation required. Don’t use eight words when five will do.
To firmly believe in the reliability, truth, ability, or strength of someone or something. Trust will get us through conflict and collectively building something amazing together.
What’s fair? What’s the right thing? We all have to use our best judgment, and everyone’s judgment varies, but a good rule of thumb is “what would you do for a friend or a neighbor if they asked for help?” An example might be providing a refund even if it’s a little outside the refund window. Or being someone who says ‘Sure we can do that for you’ when a customer expected you to say ‘sorry, we can’t.’ If the request is reasonable, grant it. At the same time, saying no is sometimes the right thing! If that’s the case, don’t feel badly about it.
We should be calm, considered, and thoughtful in our dealings with each other and the world at large. We don’t act out of spite, we don’t rush to judgment, we don’t jump to conclusions. If someone disagrees with us or attacks us we listen, we think, and we respond calmly and clearly – directly addressing the idea or the situation, not the personality or the pressure.
Generosity is a wonderful virtue. Being generous is surprising someone on the other end with goodwill and asking for nothing in return. It could be time, attention, or treasure – we give what we’re expected to, and then some.
This one’s a bit of a contradiction. After speaking about shared values, here’s one that breaks away: Independence. We encourage independent thought and original thinking. Since day one, we’ve always done things our way. We don’t look to the industry or our competitors for the way forward. We see things with our own eyes, make our own calls, and offer thoughts, perspectives, ideas, and products that we think are right, not that they think are right.