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.
Be curious. Read, listen, and capture your learnings often. Ask questions. Feel comfortable admitting you don’t know something. Put your ego aside. Have conviction, but be willing to let go of something in light of new information.
If we’re all learning as individuals, we’ll pull the entire company forward with us. We have the opportunity to get better on a daily basis.
The last (but certainly not least) guiding principle embedded in our company’s culture is to always be learning.
It was inspired by a quote from one of David Cancel’s favorite leaders, investor and philanthropist Charlie Munger:
“I constantly see people rise in life who are not the smartest, sometimes not even the most diligent, but they are learning machines. They go to bed every night a little wiser than they were when they got up, and boy does that help, particularly when you have a long run ahead of you.” – Charlie Munger
At Drift, we don’t hire skills – we hire people.
Intelligence and experience are valuable, yes. But a scrappy person with a hunger to learn can easily adapt to our culture. We’re obsessed with getting better every day, whether it’s through books, podcasts, events, mentors, or role models. It’s part of our DNA.
Here’s what you want to learn about:
All that matters is building around the customer. In other words, build a feedback loop into everything you do.
Acknowledge what you don’t know. Make mistakes. Always reflect on what went wrong. Then use that insight to take a better course of action when the problem pops up in the future (because it will). But don’t put pressure on yourself to make big strides. At Drift, we’re big fans of the Kaizen approach, which is centered around getting 1% better each day.
The market you are in is constantly changing. To excel, you need to keep up with those changes and make learning a priority.
We’re not suggesting you become competitor-driven. But done right, competitor analysis can give you a sense of what works and what doesn’t. To win, you’ve got to learn faster than everyone else.
If you take nothing else from this Leadership Principle, let it be this: Comfort is the enemy of growth.
Momentum is everything, and hypergrowth only happens when you’re learning and constantly pushing your boundaries and capabilities.
You have to build an enduring culture first. Find out what principles can get you there.
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