These are the core values that I live by, seek in companies that I work with, and work to build within the teams I motivate and manage.
Be Authentic and Transparent
In work and life, the organization, family and community can only thrive when each person embraces honest, open communication.
Reason from First Principles
If you want to understand and solve problems, you have to approach them in a coherent way based on proven principles.
Start with the End In Mind
Make sure that your actions are always aligned and driving towards your big objectives.
Fail Often and Fast
Bias towards action, pay attention and focus on what works. If you are not failing, you are not improving.
Progress, Not Perfection
We must always strive for perfection, but it is steady, incremental progress towards that goal is what produces greatness.
Whether friend, family, customers or end users, we realize our highest potential as individuals and a team when we focus on how to enrich the lives of others.
Be a Rule Breaker
Rules are useful and important, but the biggest breakthroughs often come from challenging them.
Always Be Learning and Growing
Whether a person or an organization, when you stop learning and growing you start dying.
Listen and Empathize
We can only learn and grow when we see the truth. We can only see the truth when we listen, empathize with and understand the viewpoints of others.
These are a few of the leaders that have influenced me the most.
As a business thought leader, philanthropist, and human being, Ray is a champion. While I see organizations more as organisms - not machines - growing within an ecosystem of the market, his Principles is an invaluable operating manual to life and management.
Larry Page and Sergey Brin
They are really proxies for many different Tech leaders that I admire. But while it is fashionable to bash Google at the current moment, they created a transformational company based on a culture of ideas and values that are universally applicable.
Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr.
Gandhi embodied the principles of peaceful, non-violent resistance and communication, moral suasion, and collective action, and showed how powerful they can be.
Martin Luther King Jr. applied those principles to drive America to realize its founding vision, values and potential. That journey continues, but we are immeasurably better because of his life and sacrifice.
Alice Paul and Carrie Chapman Catt
With all my respects to Susan B. Anthony and the many brave Suffragists who fought for the right to vote over decades, these two leaders are fascinating in their almost opposing but complementary personalities and strategies. Together, they achieved one of the great steps forward for both women and our democracy with the passing of the 19th Amendment.
Peter Gabriel and Sting
It's a long story, but I had the opportunity to work with and get to know both of these artists personally early in my career. Everyone knows about their qualities as artists, cultural leaders, activists and humanitarians. What I got to see and inspired me directly was the discipline and work ethic they brought to their art. Inspiration is 99% perspiration.