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Latchel’s Leadership Principles

Ethan Lieber
April 26, 2018

Latchel hires and trains employees based on our leadership values. I was a Bar Raiser at Amazon and believe Amazon’s leadership principles were a very important contributor to Amazon’s success. It’s important to get culture right from the beginning. I have adapted many of these principles from Amazon, adding my own twist and improvements. Below are the Latchel leadership principles that contribute to our rapid growth and productivity.

Customer Obsession
We aren’t just customer-centric, we are obsessed with our customers. We consider every user of Latchel’s services to be a customer. We want every user to have the best possible experience using our services and interacting with our employees.

Continuously Improve
You can’t get better by staying the same. There is always more to learn and grow as individuals and as a company. We constantly seek to understand why the industry works the way it does and how to make it work even better. We challenge ourselves to grow, even when it’s uncomfortable.

Eliminate Ambiguity
There is ambiguity around how to solve a problem until we have created a process for it. The reason a process works is because it eliminates ambiguity. For our users, ambiguity in our user experience creates frustration. How can we completely eliminate ambiguity? Don’t Make Me Think.

Bias for Action
We act quickly so we can learn quickly. We don’t waste precious time talking about hypotheticals when we can deliver now and discuss reality and ways to improve. We prototype our ideas and get real feedback. We don’t put off for later what can be resolved right now.

Deliver Results And Measure Results
We have a clear picture of what success looks like and we constantly measure our performance against our vision. We focus our energy on the real business measures that drive future success, not top-line vanity metrics looking at past success. A business without metrics is just a hobby.

Think Big
We have a bold vision for the future and take concrete steps today to achieve it. We inspire others with our vision and clear path to a better and brighter future.

We are owners in the company’s success. We think beyond our role and act on behalf of the entire organization. No job is beneath us.

Challenge and Commit
As owners, we are obligated to voice our reservations when we feel uncomfortable with a plan. We don’t stand back and let bad decisions get made, we offer our beliefs, provide counter arguments such as anecdotes, data or our own values. We provide alternative options if possible, but know that simply sharing our discomfort and asking for confirmation from others is enough. We understand the difference between “one-way-door” decisions and reversible decisions. We argue our point and accept the outcome, even if we disagree. Once a decision has been made, we commit to it fully.

Vocally Self Critical
We aren’t afraid to own our shortcomings and mistakes. We make honest assessments of ourselves so we can improve as individuals and as a team.

Build Extraordinary Teams
We seek out and retain diverse talent with proven track records and high growth potential. We systematically engineer our teams to avoid groupthink. We are open and process-driven with hiring and promotion decisions, not political nor bureaucratic. We actively encourage people to move throughout the organization and take new roles that grow them. Everybody participates in the coaching and development of others, including peers, subordinates, and superiors.

Insist on the Highest Standards
“Good enough” isn’t good enough. We hold ourselves to a high performance bar and continuously raise that bar. This is reflected in all of our work, from the largest strategic initiative to the most detailed customer email copy. This allows us to demonstrate our commitment to high quality work for our customers.

We test innovative solutions with small investments to prove our hypothesis before making large investments. Small budgets force us to think creatively and ultimately deliver more efficient solutions.

Earn Trust
We deliver results and prove ourselves to earn trust with our customers and peers. Nobody is entitled to another’s trust, we must work hard to earn it.

Ego is the Enemy
There is a difference between wanting to be great and wanting to do great things. Ego blinds us to reality and shelters us from the truth we need to see to improve. We run experiments to learn the truth, not to prove ourselves right. We are focused on the work and mastering our craft. We do not seek outside recognition to guide our behavior. Instead, we rely on our principles.

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