Core Value: Everybody’s A Boss

Note: Images are courtesy and copyright of Boss Coffee, Softbank, Nintendo, & Bruce Springsteen

re:Culture as a company, strongly values humility, and people development. The core value “Everybody’s a Boss” embodies both by recognizing the two roles required within any task that involves 2 person or more - the leader & member, and the need to rotate people in those roles for each project. The term ‘leader’ is very loose, with the sole definition being she/he becomes the single point of responsibility (also known as Area of Responsibility (AoR) in Asana, and Direct Responsibility Individual (DRI) in Apple), who after listening to all opinions, integrates the best of them, in an attempt to produce the most effective outcome. The leader thus learns to listen, mediate, lead, and be accountable for the outcome (people development); while the team members learn to set aside differences to work towards a goal in which their opinions may not have been incorporated (humility). Through role rotation, everyone will get an opportunity to lead (people development), thus the phrase “Everybody’s a Boss”, and learn to support the ideas of others (humility).

Two things that “Everybody’s a Boss” are not though are:

  1. A person cannot arbitrary choose to be a boss of a given task unless she/he has shown acceptable competency in the skill set demanded by the task concerned, which she/he can acquire by playing the member role initially
  2. A ‘boss’ cannot make a decision for his own selfish needs; the decision is governed by other core values, and the company mission.

Although the concept of “Everybody’s a Boss” was germinated through our experience, it bears resemblance to both Brian Robertson’s Holacracy (2-min video intro) and the Advice Process (as defined in Dennis Bakke’s book The Decision Maker), where anybody can propose an project to solve an issue without requiring approval from any manager; they have full decision-making authority, but also bear full accountability for the outcome.

Interestingly AngelList, has a core value “1 (wo)man startups”, which takes the definition of “Everybody’s a Boss” to another level; every one within the company behaves like a startup entity. This core value is entirely focused on people development (self-management, T-shaped, resource management & coordination skill) without much emphasis on humility though.

We encourage you to read more about other companies that also focus on humility, and people development below (a non exhaustive list, which we will update periodically).

Additional Information

Other companies that treasure humility through their core values (in braces) are:

  • Buffer (Be a ‘no-ego’ Doer, Show Gratitude)
  • Zappos (Be Humble)
  • airbnb (Be a Host)
  • Amazon (Deep Dive)
  • Ineeza (Everybody’s a Boss)

Other companies that emphasize on people development through their core values (in braces) are:

  • Buffer (Choose Positivity & Happiness, Self Improvement, Self-reflection)
  • Zappos (Pursue Growth And Learning)
  • Ineeza (Everybody’s a Boss)
  • airbnb (Embrace the Adventure)
  • Amazon (Hire & Develop the Best, Learn & Be Curious)
  • AngelList (No Code Review)
  • Spotify (Open Source Model)
  • Atlassian (Be the Change You Seek)