Entrepreneurs build trusting teams

trust-fall

“Try not. Do or do not. There is no try.” Yoda

  1. Respect, or the lack thereof, is the foundation of the culture of a company. In our company we show respect to everyone, regardless of race, income or status. Respect is shown by observing cultural norms. Learn the culture of your colleagues. Remember the basics: Greet people. Smile. Say please & thank you. Take calls. If you miss call, return call. Return SMS’s. Arrive ahead of time.
  1. You are welcome to make procurement decisions (if within delegation of authority), but if you make mistakes then you will pay the price. So try make small mistakes. When in doubt run it by your boss. If you can’t get hold of your boss, call the big boss. We want you to back yourself and move fast, and we don’t want to be hassled, but we’d prefer to avoid wasting money and making unnecessary mistakes. Once you have a reputation for delivering the goods you will have more autonomy.
  1. We are not going to butt into your life. If you don’t ask for help we can’t help you. If you don’t timeously ask for help and things are a screw-up, then you must accept sole responsibility. The only way you can expect shared responsibility is if you ask for help. If you don’t know when to ask for help, then you’re the wrong person for the job. “The secret to business is knowing what you’re not good at and what you don’t know.”
  1. If we are to trust our colleagues then we must know that no one is speaking behind our backs. Especially to the boss. It’s not fair to criticise someone without having confronted that person first. Try be tactful, always be honest.
  1. This company can be the vehicle to realise your dreams. We want you to have total freedom. But first you must prove your capability. Do you deliver the goods? There will be tests and it will take years before you’re completely free. Until then, don’t mistake our friendship for a tolerance of disrespect, mediocrity or reckless behaviour. We have too much on the line to let friendship get in the way of success.
  1. Working hard is a prerequisite for success, but results are the litmus test. No matter how early you are at office or how much effort you put it, if you’re not delivering the goods then you’re letting down the team, As Ben Horowitz says, “You don’t get an A for effort, you get an F for you’re Fired.”
  1. Always do what is best for the team, even if its not what you want to do. This requires humility.

“Never panic. Everything will be ok in the end. If its not ok, its not the end. When you find yourself going through Hell, keep moving!”


Also published on Medium.