This post is for my professional colleagues and potential co-workers.
I look forward to our building great things together. You bring not only your skills and talents to our team but a unique personality. I see it as a privilege to be working with you and I’ll adapt my leadership style to accommodate your uniqueness. As we’re striving towards a common goal and will be working together closely, you’ll need to adapt as well. From my perspective, the following points are mission-critical:
- If anything is blocking you or your team or you find your work unfulfilling, let me know immediately.
- Do keep my strengths and weaknesses in mind. My strengths include ideation, command, execution, integrity, and perfectionism. Among my many weaknesses are a lack of empathy in some situations, a bad temper, and — inevitably — my perfectionism.
- When we’re making decisions, it’s okay to disagree. I expect you to speak your mind and contribute your thoughts, ideas, and opinions. Once a decision has been made and we move into executing, however, I expect you to commit to that decision.
- To keep conversations fluent and our decisions prompt, either reply to or acknowledge my messages within 24 hours — excluding Sundays.
- I’d like you to be able to ‘unplug’ whenever you feel the need to do so. Just remember to let me know ahead of time if you’re taking days off and won’t be able to react within the timeframe above.
- If you’d like to meet for a chat, simply ask and I’ll share my calendar with you.
- Be on time for our meetings and let’s finish them on time too — including 25 and 55-minute meetings.
- When we meet, it’s okay to get emotional. As long as you remain respectful of others, I’ll accept you being emotional as a display of passion. I don’t see that as a sign of weakness.
- For the sake of efficiency, if you need to cancel or reschedule a meeting, please do so as far in advance as you can. Avoid canceling or rescheduling same-day meetings.
- Don’t decline a meeting invitation (unless you’re an optional attendee). Instead, contact me promptly via chat and let’s find a suitable time for all invitees.
- Make sure your contact number is listed on your Slack profile (including country code). When emergencies arise or we’re experiencing connectivity issues, being able to reach you via WhatsApp is important.
- You’re free to work from anywhere you like; I have no prescriptions in this regard. Just make sure your Internet connection is very good.
- When video conferencing, please enable your webcam; I find it impossible to converse with a void.
- For the sake of clarity and full comprehensibility when video conferencing, use a noise-canceling headset. I recommend this one and this one. Experience has taught me that using a headset is the least problematic for all parties concerned.
- Do keep in mind: if you copy me in any email exchange, the message is likely to go unread. If you want me to read your message, address it to me directly.
- When chatting, please be open to discussing the meaning of words. Semantics are important to me. My brain likes to think more literally and less figuratively.
I am committed to leading by example so while I have clear expectations of you, you’re equally entitled to have expectations of me. Thus, you may expect the following:
- Opportunities to grow. Your personal and professional development is important to me.
- Involvement. I value your comments and suggestions and will always be willing to listen to you.
- I shall keep my commitments. I take great pride in this.
- Consistency. I have an unshakable belief in equality and fairness and I will always be consistent in my approach to you.
- Respect. Once earned, you can count on it.
- Honesty. There is no other way.
- Praise. When you go beyond my expectations.
- Silence. When you simply meet my expectations.
- Radical honesty. When you aren't meeting my expectations.
- Periodic, candid, and constructive feedback. Success teaches us far less than making mistakes. I expect you to make them but the same mistake, only once. You will always know exactly how I feel about what you are doing and have done.
- Recruiting help. When you're looking for new members for your team, I'll help you find, screen, and attract talent.
Mandatory reading and video material
Alignment is crucial for success so if you report to me, I’ll expect you to have read (or watched) all of these articles and videos within the first week of our working together. Many of the concepts addressed by them will be used in our daily conversations.
- The Jeff Bezos School of Long-Term Thinking
- Elon Musk Uses This Ancient Critical-Thinking Strategy To Outsmart Everybody Else
- How can I be as great as Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Elon Musk, Richard Branson?
- Make Strategic Thinking Part of Your Job
- Founder’s mentality and the paths to sustainable growth
- Why Product Market Fit Isn’t Enough
- Steve Jobs On The Difference Between A Vice President And A Janitor
- Speed as a strategy (first eight minutes)
- Peacetime CEO/Wartime CEO
- The puzzle of motivation
- How great leaders inspire action
- Steve Jobs Stanford Commencement Speech 2005
- What sets successful CEOs apart
- Why Feelings of Guilt May Signal Leadership Potential
- The Sad Truth About Developing Executives
- Trouble hiring senior engineers? It’s probably you
- The high-return activity of raising others’ aspirations
- Why Should Anyone Be Led by You? (if you need a copy, contact me)
- All the frameworks I’ve written (multiple articles)
- Know Your Customers’ “Jobs to Be Done”
- How To Find Product-Market Fit
- How Superhuman Built an Engine to Find Product/Market Fit
- Algorithms Need Managers, Too
- How to Protect your Machine Learning Product from Time, Adversaries, and Itself
- Your blog is not a publication
- How Zapier Reached $35M ARR With This SaaS SEO Strategy
- Experimentation & Measurement for Search Engine Optimization
- Dunning-Kruger effect
- Research: The Average Age of a Successful Startup Founder Is 45
- The surprising habits of original thinkers
- Self Confidence
About company culture:
- Strike When The Iron Is Hot
- Being Scrappy, Lean And Successful: The Do’s & Don’ts of Startup Spending
- 9 ways to stay scrappy
- The Five Stages of Tribal Culture
- Disagree and Commit
- Speaking While Female
About our industries:
- Humans Need Not Apply
- The Emergence Of The End-to-End Marketplace
- What’s next for marketplace startups? Reinventing the $10 trillion service economy, that’s what.
About my background:
- Touched by an angel
- How we successfully launched Voice123 being part-time entrepreneurs
- Could crowdsourcing talent online create jobs?
- No, your startup doesn’t suck
By the end of the first month, I’ll expect you to have read these books:
By the end of the second month, I’ll expect you to have read these books:
If any of the links don’t work, please let me know as soon as possible.