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Leadership Principles


Customer obsession

Leaders start with the customer and work backwards. They work vigorously to earn and keep customer trust. Although, leaders pay attention to competitors, they obsess over true customer benefit and avoid wishful thinking on possible customer value.


Extreme ownership

Leaders are "extreme owners". They think long term and don’t sacrifice long-term value for short-term results. They act on behalf of the entire company, beyond just their own team. They never say “that’s not my job" and they are responsible for not just those tasks which they directly control, but for all those that affect whether or not their mission is successful.


Invent & simplify

Leaders expect and require innovation and invention from their teams and always find ways to simplify. They are externally aware, look for new ideas from everywhere and are not limited by “not invented here." They decompose complex problems based on "First Principle Thinking" to innovate. As we do new things, we accept that we may be misunderstood for long periods of time.


Accept failure as a path to mastery

Leaders have strong judgment and good instincts. They seek diverse perspectives and work to disconfirm their beliefs. They embrace experimentation and failure as a path to mastery and success.


Learn and be curious

Leaders are never done learning and always seek to improve themselves. They are curious about new possibilities and act to explore them. They first seek to understand, then to be understood.


Hire & develop the best

Leaders raise the performance bar with every hire and promotion. They recognize exceptional talent, and willingly move them throughout the organization. Leaders develop leaders and take seriously their role in coaching others. We work on behalf of our people to invent mechanisms for development like Career Choice.


Insist on the highest standards

Leaders lead by example by having relentlessly high standards — many people may think these standards are unreasonably high. High ethical standards are the foundation of trust. Leaders are continually raising the bar and drive their teams to deliver high quality products, services, and processes. Leaders ensure that defects do not get sent down the line and that problems are fixed so they stay fixed. Leaders listen attentively, speak candidly, and treat others respectfully. They are vocally self-critical, even when doing so is awkward or embarrassing.


Think big

Thinking small is a self-fulfilling prophecy. Leaders create and communicate a bold direction that inspires results. They think differently and look around corners for ways to serve customers.


Bias for action

Speed matters in business. Many decisions and actions are reversible and do not need extensive study. We value calculated risk taking.


Down to earth attitude

Leaders are humble and focus on impact we can bring to the world rather than status amongst others.



Accomplish more with less. Constraints breed resourcefulness, self-sufficiency, and invention. There are no extra points for growing headcount, budget size, or fixed expense.


Dive deep

Leaders operate at all levels, stay connected to the details, audit frequently, and are skeptical when metrics and anecdote differ. No task is beneath them.


Have backbone, disagree and commit

Leaders are obligated to respectfully challenge decisions when they disagree, even when doing so is uncomfortable or exhausting. Leaders have conviction and are tenacious. They do not compromise for the sake of social cohesion but motivate teams to seek truth. Once a decision is determined, they commit wholly.


Deliver results

Leaders are intrinsically motivated and focus on the key inputs for their business to deliver them with the right quality and in a timely fashion. Despite setbacks, they rise to the occasion and never settle.

Check out our leadership principles that we apply every day and that shapes the culture of SDA.

These Principles are true until we find better ones.