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The Seven Habits of Highly Effective Taotians

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"CafeClutch", Culture
Drawn both to Stephen Covey’s “Seven Habits of Highly Effective People” as well as Amazon’s 14 Leadership Principles. Brent Lightner, CEO of Taoti Creative, set off to write the Seven…
Brent Lightner 2

Brent Lightner

CEO | Founder
Brent started building websites out of a college dorm room in 1996. By 2000, he was running a full-fledge web design company and garnishing press from the likes of Der…

[This article is part of Taoti’s CafeClutch series…]

Taoti has our annual, global retreat coming up next week.  For my part, I’m giving a bit of a keynote to the whole team about everyone’s favorite question: what’s my five-year plan?  That’s a whole separate conversation, but a big part of my spiel is not just what the plan is, but why the goals are what they are and how each Taotian can help us achieve those goals–and their own personal goals in the process!

In formulating my thoughts about what Taoti is looking for from our employees, I was drawn both to Stephen Covey’s “Seven Habits of Highly Effective People” as well as Amazon’s 14 Leadership Principles.  These are both great lists, and my hat goes off to their authors!  With a bit of massaging and a lot of blatant plagiarizing, I submit to you, my fellow Taotians, the Seven Habits of Highly Effective Taotians.”

  1. Empathize
    With your manager.  With your colleagues.  With the client.  Put yourself in their shoes and understand their perspective—especially in times of frustration.  Seek first to understand the other story before putting forth your own.
  2. Take Ownership
    Good Taotians are 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.”
  3. Take Action
    Speed matters in business. Many decisions and actions are reversible and do not need extensive study, big teams, or exhaustive planning. We value calculated risk-taking and a ‘get it done’ attitude.
  4. Be Frugal
    Embrace your inner scrappiness and hustle.  Accomplish more with less. Constraints breed resourcefulness, efficiency, self-sufficiency, and invention.
  5. Have an Opinion (and backbone to commit to it)
    Taotians are obligated to respectfully challenge decisions and processes 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 or operational convenience.
  6. Deliver Results
    Despite challenges, constraints, and even unfair circumstances, Taotians rise to the challenge and deliver results.
  7. Measure and Report
    To move the needle—that is, to make a meaningful and measurable impact—we must know in measurable terms where we started, where we are, and where we want to go.

Learn more about our Taotians!