We touched upon the key ingredients to good leadership in my previous blog post, but there is a closely topic that I felt deserved its own entry: building a good culture.
“Culture” has been a buzzword over at least the last decade, and a company’s culture has become just as important to potential candidates as the salary and benefits. This is especially true for millennial candidates, a generation that I am part of.
I had a lot of ideas about the type of culture that I wanted to build for TeamRed. First and foremost was an open atmosphere for communication. We work hard to maintain an environment that allows people to speak up and share constructive criticism. We also make sure that there are no unnecessary barriers to communication.
Decision making is another important part of our culture. Whenever there is a major decision to be made, be it about the color of the device shell, the Pangolin app UI, or even the company logo, we let everyone have their say. While we do defer to the experts working for us in their respective fields, we still ensure that all employees are able to take part in the conversation.
A sense of pride is also key to TeamRed’s culture. Everyone who works for us truly believes in the product and takes pride in the fact that they’re working toward building a safer, better world for their loved ones. This also led to a shared sense of responsibility. Every team member takes ownership of both their successes and their mistakes – and we support each other through the good times and bad.
Flexibility is an integral part of our working methods. As a company that has members working in the Japan, the Philippines, Singapore, and Taiwan, we make sure that we’re flexible in our scheduling, so people are still able to take care of their other important tasks. As a start-up, we had to respect that some of the members and advisors still had other full-time job commitments. So, if that meant having to have our catchup calls and meetings on the weekends instead, then that’s what we did.
The final piece to the TeamRed culture is accountability. As the founder, I know I have to set the example, which is why I make myself available to my team at any time of the day. If the developers need to work for 18 straight hours to fix a critical error, I will be there solving the problem next to them. If I need to be in Taiwan to assess our latest hardware options, and in Singapore the next day to have a catch-up with our marketing lead, then I will get on those flights.
This, in turn, has galvanized my team to continue working hard for TeamRed. If you can’t lead by example, then there’s no point telling people how they should be working.
This blog post was written by Miko Tan, TeamRed Founder.
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