Some years ago when I was on the Microsoft Visio team, the General Manager there once started a team meeting by presenting his operating principles. These principles gave an insightful glimpse into this leader’s values and also how he had come to rise so quickly through the ranks at Microsoft.

As I build a content marketing team at Apptio, I’ve been thinking about my own operating principles. The 7 principles listed below are what I shared with my team a few weeks ago, and I figured I’d share them with you as well:

  1. Get things done. Practice the art of the possible with a clear bias for action. Without this attitude the following principles matter a lot less.
  2. Take risks. It’s okay to make mistakes. The important thing is to make newer and smarter mistakes. Make progressively better mistakes.
  3. Leadership is about providing clarity. Where are we headed? How will we get there? What needs to get done right now? How can you contribute? Answering these questions for you is my first order of business.
  4. Your success is my success. My commitment to you is that I’ll work hard to provide you with opportunities to grow, the resources to act on these opportunities, and the visibility to get your successes recognized and rewarded. At the same time…
  5. Be proactive in finding and pursuing opportunities. Take ownership of your career and your growth.
  6. Speak up, especially if you have a differing opinion. Consensus is not always a good thing. Disagree respectfully and in a principled manner. Spirited debate leads to a better end product.
  7. Have fun. I take this aspect of my job very seriously!

I reserve the right, as always, to wake up smarter tomorrow, and so some of these principles may evolve over a period of time. That being said, these are a pretty good representation of where I stand today.

What do you think? Chime in via comments below or tweet me @dhamdhere.

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