🗄️ Work Principles


Be a shaper

Visionary + Practical Thinker + Determined

Shapers get the big picture and the details right. They come up with unique and valuable visions and build them out beautifully.

Finish your projects

The value of a project only comes once it's delivered. A plan is great, but push through to the delivery.

The only true authority stems from knowledge and not position

In a meritocracy, only knowledge can create authority. Avoid situations where position dictates authority. Relying on position for your authority will create resentment in those who experience your decisions.

Beware Carnival cash

Carnival cash are a form of currency you can only use in the carnival. Leave the carnival and the currency is worthless. Beware carnival cash, manage your knowledge growth across transferable and non-transferable domains.

Design and lead your machine

Know when you are operating as the "designer" of your machine vs. the "executor". Navigate the levels between designer and executor. Do each deliberately.

Design the machine

Your team should operate like a well built machine. Each component in the machine should have its purpose, and every component should be necessary to the machine's function. No component should have all the purpose.

Design your machine first, then fill it with people

Don't design the machine based on the people that you have. Design the machine first. Then see how the people you have can work within your machine.

Choose team sized boundaries

Consider the cognitive load that a team can handle, and choose an appropriate boundary for the team based on it. Teams must be able to handle and own everything inside their boundary. Choose the boundaries according to what the team can handle.

Explaining why is more important than explaining what

Giving people the tools and principles within which to make decisions is more effective than telling people the answer. Explaining why explains the reasons. Why is more universally applicable. The reasons are more flexible and universally applicable than the what someone should do in this situation.

Don't be a police officer

Give people the tools to succeed. Policing happens after something is done, which is too late. The crime has already been committed.

Recognise all parts of the machine

Not all parts of your machine are readily visible, but that doesn't mean they are not there. You can't see every cog in a car engine, but every cog is required.

Communicate successes, elevate the team

Celebrate success, success breeds success. How you (or your organisation) rewards and celebrates its people is a clear indication of the culture of the organisation.

Standing on others' shoulders does not make you taller

Trying to diminish others to make yourself taller doesn't work. It's often transparent. Focus more on achieving your goals, and less on your standing in the hierarchy.

You can achieve far more if you do not care who gets the credit

Focus more on achieving your goals, and less on where the credit is going. Do you care who gets the credit, as long as you achieved your goal?

Your success is measured by the extent to which others want to work with you

This is the day-to-day version of everyone should leave the interview wanting the job. You will be successful if others want to work with you, and you will miss opportunities if others don't like working with you.

Do not be the directly responsible individual for every action

Every action should have a directly responsible individual. Make sure that individual is not you. If it's you, your succession planning and delegation is probably off. Surround yourself with people who are better at things than you are, and delegate to them what they are best at.

It can feel good to be 'important' or 'busy'; you are being a blocker -- this is inefficient.

Delegate as much as possible, even if it takes longer

Take the hit the first time, and delegate. Work with that person to get the task done. It will pay-off every other time.

Endorse only ability

When making recommendations, their foundation should be in ability. If you cannot identify the ability, consider if you should be making the endorsement.

Hire well

Everyone should leave the interview wanting the job

No matter what you think of the candidate, everyone should leave the interview wanting the job. Be fun and engaging to work with, and you will build a fun and engaging team.

Hire for potential+skills

Skills and abilities are important. Potential is someone's currently unrealised ability.

Because how you deal with failure is more important than how you deal with success, hiring for potential (as well as skills) lets you hire people who are setup to deal with failure and success.