Icelab

Principles, not rules

By Michael Honey20 Sep 2016

When you start working at Icelab, you get a handbook which tells you how we do things. We don’t have a lot of rules, but we do have four principles, concepts that can be applied over and over again in similar circumstances, rather than narrow answers to specific questions.

These principles are also useful in life.

Be truthful and kind

It’s impossible to overstate the importance of truth and kindness. Ethics informs everything. It affects the kind of work you take on, your relationships with colleagues and clients and friends and lovers. Kindness is reciprocated. And if you are truthful then the universe backs you up.

Communicate

Let clients and colleagues know what you’re doing. If you have an idea, let’s hear it. If you feel a tension, speak to it. (I used to get cranky at people for not thinking the same as me, but I didn’t explain why I thought the way I did. I was just dumb.)

Be excellent

This isn’t about just being good at things. To “excel” means to be better than you were before. Being a better person today than you were yesterday, earning new skills, each day, trying to be your best self so far – as a colleague, a friend, a partner.

Take the initiative

Unless your life is already perfect, there’s always something to strive for. You’d be amazed at what you can get done just by persuasively arguing for it. If you want the world to be different, try changing it. You really have nothing to lose and everything to gain.

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