As CEO, a good part of my job to talk about our company values. I don’t do it in a dogmatic or structured way, but you can hear it in almost everything I say. That’s why you never hear anyone at Gangly Sister talking about an exit. None of our values have to do with a business model: they have to do with what we are building for ourselves and our community.
Our values aren’t slogans, they aren’t part of our branding, they aren’t our goals, and they aren’t something we came up with because you are supposed to have company values. They are, simply, the foundation of how we operate.
So, without further ado, following are the Gangly Sister values.
- Work with people you love
- Audacious vision
- Impeccable honesty
- Outrageous creativity
- Give first
- Just keep going
Work with people you love
Life is just too short. We care about excellence and talent and attitude and a whole lot of other things, but if we don’t absolutely love you, you won’t be on the team.
We are about the insanely big picture all the time. We are out to cause a million girls to choose a higher education in STEM within 10 years. Sure, Purple and Nine could be a cool TV show. We’re going bigger than that. We want apps, community, projects, toys… a whole environment that touches girls worldwide. We can’t afford for this to be accessible only to girls with TV sets. It needs to get to the girls who need it most.
If we weren’t having fun doing this, we couldn’t do it. We take our work seriously, and that means making it as fun as possible.
Speak the truth. Accept others’ truth. Pay contractors on time. Stay financially viable. Take care of the people on the team. It’s simple stuff, but most companies don’t’ do it. At the end of the day, all you have is your reputation. Late payments, disrespect for others, and deceptive practices are all just too expensive for us. We live honestly, within our budget, and we tell the truth about how it is.
No idea is a bad idea. That doesn’t mean we execute most of our ideas. It means that any idea that shows up is a starting point for other ideas. One idea in a hundred is good and one in a thousand is great, so we encourage each other to come up with any idea, no matter how outrageous.
Every transaction is about giving, and successful people start with giving. We spend time in our community, mentoring, lecturing, and giving. We’ve also put 3% of our shares in the Tmura fund. Again, it might seem obvious, but you can’t reap what you don’t sow. While we don’t lose focus on our mission, we won’t achieve it without the generosity of others, which means expressing our own generosity in the world. As Brian Tracy says, “The price of success must be paid in full, in advance.”
Just keep going
Fundamentally, the key to success is to keep working towards your goals. We aren’t relentless in pursuing one path; we are relentless in pursuing one goal. We repeat what works and discard what doesn’t, and we learn every day. We know we’ll reach those million girls, though we aren’t always sure when and how. Persistence means we just keep going at the maximum velocity we can at any given time.
What do you think?
Does your company work according to particular values? What are the real values you see on a day-day-basis in your workplace or your personal work ethic? Have you ever thought of writing them down?