Getting close to customers takes more than just words — it requires leadership, action, and a willingness to let this customer-centric philosophy guide your decision-making every single day.
At Drift, we know that this kind of rigorous application of our beliefs will help us achieve our ultimate vision: become the new way businesses buy from businesses.
Which is why we recently decided to evolve our thinking into one clear document we call our Drift Leadership Principles.Get the book
Put the customer at the center of everything you do.
We make decisions to solve our customers’ problems. Period. Not to get the company short-term wins. Not to respond to a competitor. No matter your role, put the customer at the center of your decisions instead of yourself or your team. Spend time every day getting to know the customer a little bit better than you did yesterday.
Create a culture of respect and trust.
We all do our part to maintain a culture of inclusion, respect, and trust. When a problem happens, we go to the person who can fix it instead of complaining about it to someone who can’t. We celebrate each other’s wins with excitement and enthusiasm (and maybe a few train whistles and gongs). We respect different opinions and embrace the fact that we’re not all the same. By doing that, we create unity.
Practice extreme ownership.
We take extreme ownership of our results, both the successes and the failures. We never point the finger or make excuses. We take it upon ourselves to understand the mission and believe in it. If you don’t understand the mission, it’s on you to get clear and ensure your plan supports it. Ask questions and speak up if you need clarification. This is our mission, but we’re all responsible for our own understanding.
Have a bias for action and deliver daily results.
We ship daily, and we don’t just mean software. Across the entire company, everyone is taking action that drives results every single day. We make things happen before we make them perfect. We believe every project can be broken down into small, daily wins. Over time, those small wins help our customers take massive leaps forward.
Seek feedback, not consensus.
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).
Push for high standards.
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 event 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.
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.
Be a curious learning machine.
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.