You know how some companies have mantras or core values that they’ll put in a company handbook or paint in their lobby?
That’s all well and good, but at Drift, we take things a little further. Okay, a lot further.
You see, at Drift, we’re obsessed with our Leadership Principles.
We live and breathe these eight principles every day, because we know that this kind of rigorous application of our beliefs will help us achieve our ultimate vision: to become the new way businesses buy from businesses.
I wasn’t kidding when I said we are obsessed.
These principles have been part of the Drift DNA since day one, so it is only appropriate that we regularly celebrate our team members who exemplify them in ways that help us all better serve our customers and one another. Twice a year, all Drift employees have the opportunity to nominate their colleagues for a Leadership Principle award based on how well they embody one or more of the Principles.
At our recent company kickoff, we recognized four Drifters who best embody and apply our Leadership Principles each day at work. I’m excited to introduce you to them now!
Lottie Hedden, Manager, Enterprise Customer Success – Winner of Seek Feedback, Not Consensus
What this leadership principle is all about: We seek feedback to get to the best idea, not to create agreement or consensus. We believe consensus creates average ideas, average speed, and average results. We don’t vote on ideas or decisions. The best idea will never sound like the best idea to everyone, so we validate with the customer instead of committees. When a decision is made, we move forward (disagree and commit).
Why Lottie was nominated: In the nominations submitted by her teammates, it was unanimously stated that Lottie consistently demonstrates working for the good of her team and the company. She comes to meetings with bright ideas, is never scared to voice her concerns or opinions (in ways that enrich the conversation), and is quick to respond when a teammate needs her. One of our favorite quotes from her numerous nominations was this one: “I’m pushed to be better because of her spirit and engagement with the teams.”
In her own words: “When candidates ask me what I love most about Drift, I always tell them that good ideas matter more than title or tenure. This creates constant opportunities for personal growth, bolstered by working with and learning from smart people every day. To me this recognition is flattering, but more a product of my environment than anything else. I am grateful to my teammates who push me to think in new ways and always embrace the authentic (and opinionated) me!”
Kate Mattos, Manager, Growth Sales – Winner of Push for High Standards
What this leadership principle is all about: Our standards should make us uncomfortable. When comfort creeps in, we acknowledge our goals aren’t big enough and we raise the bar. We apply high standards to everything – whether it’s a new feature, a new hire, or new swag. No matter how big or small something seems, it contributes to the sum total of our brand. And we want to build a brand customers love. Despite always knowing that we can reach higher and do better, we take time to celebrate the wins that we have made along the way.
Why Kate was nominated: Kate is always challenging her team to level up. Despite joining Drift right at the beginning of the pandemic (when so many things were in flux), she was immediately able to click with her team and see the great potential everyone had to exceed their goals. All of her reps know that she expects greatness out of them, but she is there every step of the way to help them achieve it. In the words of one of her sales reps: “Kate is constantly sharing feedback and resources to help the team grow.“ That’s how you push for high standards!
In her own words: “At Drift, I’ve had the privilege of working alongside some of the most intelligent and hardworking individuals. You often hear people say things like ‘wow, Drift is so cool, it’s a rocketship!’ – and yes, those things ARE true – but what’s even better is the opportunity to be surrounded by high caliber people with incredible expertise, backgrounds, and skill sets. I feel such a responsibility to push for high standards given the level of talent at Drift. I am so grateful to be recognized for this award because it is a reflection of my team, my peers, and leadership.”
Allie Winkelman, Learning & Development Manager – Winner of Stay Scrappy
What this leadership principle is all about: There is no entitlement here. We work like we have something to prove. We don’t always know how we’ll make something happen, but we do know we’ll figure it out. It’s this quality that will help us topple any challenge we encounter, regardless of our means or circumstances.
Why Allie was nominated: Right before the pandemic hit, Allie took on the challenge of leveling up our onboarding program – and then the world went remote. In spite of this, Allie has created a comprehensive, enriching program that all Drifters have the pleasure of being part of as their introduction to the company. There’s so much we could say about all the amazing things Allie has done for our new hires and our onboarding program, but we’ll leave you with our favorite line from her nominations: “Allie makes scrappy classy!”
In her own words: “When I was interviewing with Drift, Elias Torres (the co-founder & CTO) asked me how I would describe my ego. Not a normal interview question. That’s around the time when I realized that Drift was not a normal company – and I knew I had to be a part of it. What I love about our Leadership Principles is that they build off of each other. So even though we are staying scrappy, we are also making sure to push for the highest standards possible. The principles are our toolbox for our actions and challenge me to be better, every day.”
Ally Howlett, Senior Product Manager – Winner of Be a Curious Learning Machine
What this leadership principle is all about: We bring a spirit of learning to everything we do. We seek wisdom so we don’t have to reinvent the wheel whenever possible. We approach learning as both students and teachers, eager to share our discoveries with each other and our customers. We can’t stay comfortable or get stuck in our ways. Learning keeps us in motion.
Why Ally was nominated: Never one to back down from a challenge, Ally has jumped in and figured out so many hugely important, massively complex product areas for Drift. From billing systems, to workspaces, to enabling customers to have multiple languages running in Drift, and more – she’s rolled up her sleeves and figured it all out. And then, she’s executed on it. As one Drifter put it: “Ally approaches all of her work with so much excitement and a drive to get better and it shows in the quality of her work.”
In her own words: “It is rare to find both a leadership team and colleagues who are committed to growth and a student mindset. I am so fortunate to have found that at Drift. Since joining the team almost two years ago, there are more than 40 emails in my inbox from our CEO David Cancel to our team that emphasize the importance of learning in many different contexts. This – and the smart people I get to work with every day – motivates me to be a better teammate, customer advocate, person, and to step up and tackle any challenge that comes my way.”