“I am not going to talk about religious beliefs, but about matters so obvious that it has gone out of style to mention them.”

This is a list of things I believe and try to apply in my professional life. I’ve put them up here because if you ever work with me, or think about working with me, knowing them might give you a sense of what motivates my words and actions.

I refine these all the time and add to them occasionally. They’re not in any particular order.

I’d always be happy to hear how you feel about any of them, and learn about yours.

These I Believe

  • Leadership is not about having all the answers. It’s about knowing how to ask good questions, and how to go about answering them.
  • I’d rather crash and burn with people I trust and care for than make bank with psychopaths.
  • Winning only real when shared.
  • Eventually, whatever else happens, I will tell you the truth.
  • Everything is harder and takes longer than you think. If it doesn’t, that’s called luck.
  • People can be effectively motivated by fear and ambition, but in unreliable ways. People motivated by hope and empathy deliver more consistently, creating fewer risks. They are also more pleasant to work with.
  • Shit rolls downhill. Be a shit umbrella, not a shit funnel.
  • When you’re young: Be humble. Ask questions. Do your homework. When you’re older: Try never to stop.
  • Loyalty at work: team before individual. Loyalty beyond work: be a mensch.
  • It’s great to be the best. But you don’t always have to be the best to win. Knowing what winning looks like, and when to stop, feels more like success.
  • Continuous improvement is the compound interest of execution. A little better every time feels incremental but adds up in spectacular ways.
  • Sameness is efficient in the short term but dangerous in the long term. Diversity breeds diversity and protects your blind side.
  • Work with people you have fun disagreeing with.
  • The best tool is the one you can get everybody to use.
  • We keep recycling the same truths in different packaging. Reach for the source, but respect the fact that we all have different tastes in learning.
  • Speaking plainly is hard and worthy of the effort.
  • Every person I meet has something to teach me.
  • Intentions matter, but actions build trust over time.
  • It costs little and pays highly to be generous in our interpretation of others.
  • It’s not a plan unless you’ve written it down.
  • Rewarding vulnerability leads to growth.