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Windward Core Values: Do What’s Right

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Posted on 03/03/2016

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Editor’s note: Windward’s CEO, David Thielen, is writing a series of blog posts on company core values. This is the third post in the series. Click here for the first, “Create a Team of ‘A’ Players.”

This in some ways is the hardest core value for us to adhere to:

Do right cut

It’s tough to adhere to because this core value is a bit more ambiguous than our other core values. Can we always do what a prospect or customer thinks is right? No, because it’s often a judgment call. What the customer thinks is right may not be right in other ways, such as for our employees, our other customers, or our company as a whole.

This also holds for our interactions within the company. How Windward treats employees and how employees treat one another — again, it’s a judgment call. An employee who is not working at the level we expect and is being pushed to do better is not always going to think we’re doing right by them.

So how do we assert this as a core value? It boils down to this: We can claim this as a core value if we work hard at and, for the most part, succeed at doing what’s right. And more importantly, that we care about trying to achieve it.

What it Means to Do What’s Right

To a large degree this is aspirational. When we hit a hard decision of costs vs what a prospect or customer expects, do we weigh both sides? Do we often do things not for maximum benefit to us but because it’s what we think is right for the prospect or customer? Does the company try to do the best it can by all employees? That is what we strive for.

This is easy on specific commitments and I think we do very well there. And when it’s a trade-off, I know we oftentimes do what we think is much more than required to best help our customers. So I think we do live up to this value.

But it remains a hard thing to quantify, especially in comparison to other companies out there. We do business with many companies that also do what’s right, at least in their work with us.

Do We Succeed at Doing What’s Right?

So maybe this is a value that we choose to live by but it’s not something where we can empirically claim we’re much better than most. Instead it’s possible that this is more of a pass/fail for a company. Do we work at and often accomplish this? We do.

And in that case, it’s good to list it specifically as a core value so we continue to strive to be worthy of claiming this as a value.

Other Windward Core Values

In my next post, I’ll discuss our fourth core value: Get It Done.

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Author: David Thielen

Dave, Windward’s founder and CEO, is passionate about building superb software teams from scratch and dramatically improving the productivity of existing software teams. He’s really proud that he once created a game so compelling (Enemy Nations) that a now-professional World of Warcraft player lost his job for playing it incessantly on company time.
You can read more from Dave on his personal blog, and at Huffington Post.

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