The Core Values That Fuel Breathe Life
Values. The set of principles that not only help guide us in our everyday lives but also help companies build products, hire employees, and scale-up. It was crucial to me and the leadership team that we establish a set of values that we would adhere to as we scaled up.
One of the hardest parts, after one has established values, is the ability to follow through with them…
So what better way to hold ourselves and our team accountable than to publicize these values, what they mean to us, and how we plan to follow them?
When we set out to establish these values we knew we wanted 5 core ones, we wanted them to be straightforward, easy to understand, and actionable. We wanted to be able to, at any point in our future, ask our team if the values apply to their every day and have everyone nod their head and agree that that’s how we guide our work and our decision-making. We didn’t want to be a company that had 15+ different values to adhere to that new employees would easily forget. We also knew they needed to be scalable. Sure we were less than 10 people when we established them, but we needed them to still be relevant and easy to apply years down the line as we scaled up. I strongly believe that the 5 values we settled on perfectly represent how we work and what we believe in and, for that matter, how all Breathe Life employees work.
Our 5 values are We are one team, We are accountable, We push the limits, We are proactive, We like to have fun. but to kick off this 5 part series on them, let’s begin with our first value — to be We are one team.
What exactly does this mean to Breathe Life?
It means that we celebrate diversity, individuality, and everyone's contributions. That we are stronger together. The exact daily implementation of it varies based on who you ask. Personally, I see this value as being crucial for building a team where everyone is happy and comfortable being themselves. What I mean by this is that everyone genuinely enjoys being part of the team, what they’re working on, and who they’re working with. Seb, who is our Chief Product Officer, takes this value a step further by looking at it from a product design standpoint.
We need to always remember that our technology serves people, real people, and in this regard, it needs to be relevant and accessible to all so everybody can use it and benefit from it. To do this, we need to ensure that we build a diverse team where everyone can contribute and brings a unique perspective.
At its core, this value is all about how we each play an important role and that we are stronger as a team. It’s about working well together, being happy and comfortable within the team, and never forgetting that there are real people who need and use our products.
We are one team is the first value we impart on new team members and is the one we consider to be the most important. I truly believe that you cannot scale a team unless all members practice authenticity, honesty, and humility.
Have you or your team implemented values? I’d love to hear about how other companies are doing it and what impacted it has had on them as they scaled.
Stay tuned for next week when I delve into our second value — We are accountable.