A CEO advice for Bernanke

When I received this link, on “The Power of Simplicity” I immediately thought of ‘CEO Bernanke’:

The CEOs I interview each week for my Corner Office series offer regular reminders of the power of simplicity. In last week’s interview with Brad Garlinghouse, the CEO of YouSendit, he described the new cultural values that he helped develop after he was brought in to help turn the company around.

It’s a short and punchy list – “Be in. Be Real. Be Bold.” – and it’s memorable.

I’ll let him explain what they mean:

“‘Be in’ is all about passion. Life is short. There are so many interesting things we can do in our life, and I feel like if someone is just kind of showing up, it’s not worth it for them or for us.

“The second value, ‘be real,’ is really about being authentic in our communication. I have seen different cultures in my career that I felt had atrophied and needed revitalization, and they were the ones where you just didn’t feel like people were being real in terms of their communication. You’d sit in a meeting and work through something and think you got somewhere, and then you walk out of the room and someone’s putting the parking brake on and you don’t even know they’re doing that.

“And the last one’s about being bold. As some companies grow and develop, that instinct is almost beaten out of the system. To me, if we’re not failing a little bit, we’re not trying hard enough. I think great cultures encourage risk and are tolerant of failure. If you don’t do that, you’re going to end up with a culture that is stagnant and not thinking about the next generation of products and experiences.”

The repetition of “be” helps make it stick, but so does the fact that there are only three values. It seems to be the sweet spot for what our brain can remember day-to-day. If a company has eight values, can the employees really be expected to remember them all? Think about a time you had to make a quick run to the grocery store – if you have to pick up eight things, it’s a good bet you’ll be reaching for a scrap of paper to make a list before you head out the door.

Choosing an NGDP-Level Target fits like a custom-made glove!

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