Hey there, I’m Dena – Drift’s VP of People.

I want to talk to you about books, and not the kind you can pick off a shelf or read on your smartphone.

Let me explain. I always tell people who are in a transition or moving to a new job to look for the “right book.” Find a company that adds to the “novel of you” and that you, in turn, can add to the “novel of the company.” I found the right book with Drift and boy… the pages are turning FAST!

I am getting my Ph.D. in Drift. We all are. At Drift, we bring a spirit of learning to everything we do. We approach learning as both students and teachers, and are eager to share our discoveries with each other and our customers. We attend monthly lectures from some of the most amazing Drift advisors on the planet. Reading isn’t optional; it’s part of the curriculum. As I said, it’s like a Ph.D.

We do this because we’re building an enduring company — a real once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. The feeling of excitement about what’s happening here is palpable. It propels us to sharpen our skills and push the boundaries every day.

But even boundary pushers need guardrails for success. That’s why Drift created what we call our Leadership Principles. Our Leadership Principles exist to make those decisions a little bit easier for everyone. We think of them like a toolbox we can use to make the best choices, get unstuck, and move as fast as possible. They’re the guardrails that steer our actions.

To succeed, we believe we have to focus on the customer experience above everything else. However, staying focused on the customer takes more than just words. It takes the entire company making tough decisions every single day – and making them quickly.

And I want to share these principles with you because I know Drift is not alone in our desire to build something extraordinary. A key part of developing these principles has been to bake them into our day-to-day experiences. We live and breathe them every day. Every new hire is introduced to these principles on Day 1 – they’re built into onboarding and long-term development programs, and all team members have development “playing” cards featuring our 8 principles. The idea (and practice) here is for everyone to use them in conversations with their managers to help identify strengths and areas for development. We use them to reinforce the behaviors that contribute to our success. They’re built into how we recognize milestones from the week, with virtual high fives, emojis, and shout-outs in Slack.

I hope it can be a jumping off point to help you craft your Leadership Principles. I may still be getting my Ph.D. in Drift, but I’m excited to share what we’ve learned along the way.

Dena-Upton-sig

Dena Upton

VP, People

How do you build an enduring company?

You have to build an enduring culture first. Find out what principles can get you there.

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