Begin With WE is now a bestseller!
“I’ve been fortunate to share the 10 WEs with tens of thousands of people across several organizations. Through these experiences, I learned that what I wanted wasn’t unique. Not only do most people want to have an impact and be recognized for their contribution, people also yearn to be led with authenticity and transparency. The 10 WEs were my vehicle to establish myself on both of these fronts.
You now have the keys to the same vehicle.”
The 10 WEs
WE do the right thing. Always.
The right thing is not always easy to determine and usually not the easiest path, but it’s the only path to get people to rally behind you consistently and authentically. Accepting anything other than the right thing, even once, is a slippery slope, compromising your brand and integrity.
WE lead by example.
Leading by example creates a standard by which the team, peers, and even the boss inherently measure themselves. Those in authority are constantly under a microscope and others emulate their behavior, whether good or bad.
Leaders must ensure their behavior is worth replicating.
WE say what we’re going to do. Then WE do it.
In any team environment, others are counting on team members to do what they say they’re going to do. Building trust, from the perspective of the team and client, requires commitment and follow-through. WE don’t let each other down.
WE take action. Taking action and making mistakes is okay; being idle is not.
Risk and innovation are key to any organization’s success, which means the team must feel safe to explore new ideas. Only with that foundation of safety will the team take bold action. Mistakes will come from taking action to improve—and that’s okay. Nothing comes from sitting idle. As the saying goes, “See something, do something.”
WE own our mistakes. WE are not judged by our mistakes, but by how quickly WE remedy and if WE repeat them.
If WE expect team members to take action, WE must also expect mistakes. Humans screw up—it’s a given, so accept it. WE don’t accept hiding or covering them up. Mistakes are an opportunity to objectively improve. The key is to allow for mistakes, identify the correct path of remediation and ensure the mistake occurs only once.
WE pick each other up.
The only way to ensure ownership of mistakes is to guarantee an environment of support. A team that is committed to picking each other up allows each person to feel safe to show up as their authentic self, risk boldly, engage fully and feel connected to others on their team.
WE measure ourselves by outcomes. Not activity.
The biggest myth in corporate America: a jam-packed calendar automatically equates to progress toward results. Endless meetings and other forms of bureaucratic activity only matter if WE can clearly draw a line from the activity to an outcome. If an activity doesn’t conspicuously contribute to an outcome, it should be questioned.
WE challenge each other (diplomatically).
Nearly all progress is the result of overcoming one or more challenges. Everyone on the team has an obligation to diplomatically challenge the status quo and one another—including the leader. Challenges must be grounded in data or experience, not opinion.
WE embrace challenge.
Only by embracing challenges do WE foster an environment where the team pushes one another to innovate and deliver improved outcomes. A challenge grounded in data or experience is not personal and usually comes with the intent to drive improved outcomes.
WE obsess over details. Details matter. A lot.
A finely-tuned and well-crafted work product is indicative of the care WE put into our work and how much WE value our brand. Obsessing over details is synonymous with obsessing over our clients’ needs and wants. It’s the difference between average and excellent.