Editor’s Note: This article was first published by Inc. here.
When my co-founder, Elias Torres, and I started Drift, we sat down and talked about our vision and the things we would and would not tolerate at the company. We thought about what we loved about past companies we’d been a part of, the people we most admired, and then –of course – we thought about the opposite as well.
From that conversation we created leadership principles – the guardrails that steer our actions, empower us to make the best choices possible, and guide how we treat each other and our customers.
As we continue to grow, we know we need to continue to live by these principles – and do our part to maintain a culture of inclusion, respect, and trust.
As you create or revise your own set of principles for your business, I thought I would share this list of 14 rules that someone (who wanted to remain anonymous) sent me recently about how to be a decent human at work – and continue to build a culture everyone wants to be a part of.
- Give credit where credit is due.
- Don’t be a jerk.
- Treat everyone as if they were your family, closest friend, or partner.
- Practice gratitude.
- Always remember you don’t know what someone else is going through.
- In times of chaos, practice patience.
- Help someone out, don’t push them down.
- Hold a door.
- Concentrate on your job and less on what you believe someone else is or isn’t doing.
- Always remember, hard work pays off.
- Get to know someone before you pass judgment.
- Don’t talk sh-t.
- Remember open and honest communication is always the best route when dealing with any issue.
And the key to building an enduring company that consists of people who respect and trust each other is to practice what you preach from day one. At our company, our leadership principles are baked into our everyday experiences. Every new hire is introduced to them as early as the interview process. We use them in our meetings with managers and direct reports. And we consistently use them to reinforce and celebrate behaviors that contribute to our success.
Our principles, and this list, are even more important to keep in mind right now. Because, since early March, the entire Drift team (nearly 400 people from offices in Boston, San Francisco, Seattle, and Tampa) have been working from home. And we’ll be working remotely until at least June 2021. This has not been an easy adjustment, but we know we are fortunate to have this option. I know the principles we established early on will continue to guide our decisions – even as we are all remote – and help us grow even stronger during this time.
I implore you, when you start a company, take time to identify what is important to you. This will not only make it easier to make everyday decisions but also help you make progress toward your long-term vision.