10) Always get the full story before making a decision.

9) It's incredibly easy to 'flip the switch' and start writing people off after a few bad experiences. Resist at all costs. You were bumbling once too. You made poor decisions. You learn and grow, and so does everybody else.

8) Sweep up the crumbs. Wipe the tables. Turn off the lights. Plug the holes that need plugging—even if it's menial, even if nobody will know you did it. Do it in service of the product, the company, and this wondrous, magical thing you are all building together.

7) Recognize you can't do everything. Close your eyes, fall backwards, and learn to trust.

6) Clearly, there is a more efficient way to do the things you do. How? Ponder that on your daily drive home.

5) Figure out which people rely on you and how you can help them be self-sufficient. You may feel important having a monopoly on salmon provisions, but if the whole village learns how to fish, it'll free you up to do something else. Like figuring out how to grow wheat. Or how to domesticate those cute wolf-pups.

4) Don't say anything if it's not actually contributing to the discussion. Your voice is not so melodious that it absolutely must be heard.

3) Making the best decision is not as important as putting in the right processes to ensure that the best decisions get made.

2) Dole out thanks and encouragement like you dole out opinions.

1) Above all, this: never, ever get in the way. It's better to twiddle your thumbs and squint up at the clouds than to obstruct progress for the sake of that stupid, childish thing called ego.


This is a personal list, and perhaps gently biased by what I do (manage designers) and where I work (Facebook) and how the imprint of many talented others have affected me. I don't claim to do all these things well nor every day. But this is the little voice that greets me in the morning, the whisper at the end of each day, the shadowy outline of some dazzling ideal that I catch a glimpse of every once in a blue moon. This is the aspiration. This is the manifesto.