PlaceHolder’s Cultural Values

Ramit Kar
Ramit Kar
Jul 28, 2020 · 3 min read

This article shares our team’s perspective on the company that we want to co-create. We fully expect these values will evolve as we continue to advance and grow, but similar to how we run our business, we wanted to put a line in the sand on a starting position.

We use these values to not only define the interactions that we have as a team, but also to attract the best, diverse talent globally. If these values and norms speak to you, you will likely fit well within our fabric.

Mindful, radical candor

“Criticism, like rain, should be gentle enough to nourish a man’s growth without destroying his roots.”

-Frank A. Clark

We are truth seekers. We are respectful but unflinchingly honest when giving feedback. We’re mindful about the medium, the message and the timing when communicating with our colleagues. Whether we are giving or receiving feedback we keep the dialogue focused on our shared goals.

Disagree and commit

“it’s a genuine disagreement of opinion, a candid expression of my view, a chance for the team to weigh my view, and a quick, sincere commitment to go their way.”

-Jeff Bezos

All of us have an obligation to dissent if we do not agree with a proposed decision. We put forth our best effort with all relevant data, opinions, cases, or facts. However once a decision is made we all commit to making it work. Decisions are owned collectively by the whole team, as are our successes and failures. We don’t hold back our efforts because we disagreed with a decision. We don’t say “I told you so” and blaming is not tolerated.

Overdeliver for our clients

I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

– Maya Angelou

We go above and beyond for our Hosts and Guests. We empathize with our clients’ problems and look for creative solutions to help them. We aren’t the legacy industry. We are not transactional and are always looking out for our clients’ best interests over the long term. Our clients leave interactions with us thinking, “PlaceHolder made my life easier today.”

Ownership

“Responsibility equals accountability equals ownership. And a sense of ownership is the most powerful weapon a team or organization can have.”

-Pat Summitt

All of us are owners of the business and this affects all our decisions. We are efficient with spending. When we see something broken, we fix it. We are accountable for our streams of work. We are enabled with true decision-making power and personal accountability is the gel that holds us together. We see the broader picture and champion efforts that better the company as a whole irrespective of the impact on our area.

Ideas over hierarchy

“If you want to hire great people and have them stay, you have to be run by ideas, not hierarchy. The best ideas have to win.”

-Steve Jobs

The best idea always wins, regardless of titles or hierarchy. We see team discussions as an opportunity to get the best of the team’s thinking on the table and don’t look for credit for our individual contributions. We individually win when the team wins. When discussing problems, our dialogue is solution-focused.

Take Risks and Always Learn

“Take risks: if you win, you will be happy; if you lose, you will be wise.”

-Swami Vivekananda

Mistakes are an inevitable product of the work we do and the speed at which we operate. Risk-taking is encouraged, but more importantly, learning is the ultimate currency. We reflect on what we learned from taking a certain path whether it was the right path or not. We don’t make the same mistake twice. When faced with uncertainty, we prefer to make a decision quickly over assuring ourselves we are always 100% right.

Transparency

“Speak the truth. Transparency breeds legitimacy.”

-John C. Maxwell

We have a ‘no bullshit’ culture where leaders are transparent about all facets of the company. Everyone has a seat on the rollercoaster that is a start-up and everyone has the context they need for the work they are doing. Since we are a distributed team, communication and transparency are paramount to building a foundation of trust.

Output orientation

“F*ck what you did, just show me results”

-Mac Miller, Red Dot Music

Putting in hours for the sake of ‘hustle’ is not rewarded. We value output above all. We don’t mistake activity for achievement and efficiency with our time is valued. Our results-oriented culture means we have space for everyone to work in a style that fits their needs.

PlaceHolder Inc. Blog

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