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Chassi’s Cultural Pillars

Chassi’s Cultural Pillars

6 min read

Talk is cheap. What really matters is what we do and how we behave when doing it. More so, it’s about what behaviors we reward, tolerate, or punish. Because that’s what really creates a culture.

Here at Chassi, we’re continuously trying to be better. We have three pillars that define our culture: Grit, Character, and Intelligence. These are the legs our culture stands on. Without one of them, it falls.

Current team members are expected to hold themselves to account and act accordingly. And we encourage prospective team members to understand what we will expect of them and what it takes to be a valued member of our team.

But first, trust

We are and continuously seek to be a high-performance team. To do this, we need trust. It’s crucial, and we don’t succeed without it.

We have to be great at what we do here and value domain expertise, but it’s not enough. We must be equally great at working together. And you can’t do that without trust. Talented assholes have no place here.

But trust is built over time, whether it’s with customers or our fellow teammates. And we create it through the consistent application of Grit, Character, and Intelligence.

Here’s how we do that:

Grit

How we approach things

The world doesn’t welcome innovation. Most people respond to it with something between indifference and hostility. We use grit to overcome this.

A gritty team member perseveres. We delay gratification, and we keep the long-term goal on our horizon.

It’s up to each of us to work with tremendous initiative. We each continuously decide how much we give to the task at hand and how committed we are to the collective mission.

We focus most of our energy on what we can control, some of our energy on what we can influence, and no energy on what we can’t control.

Our mindset is always in our control, and we lean on our grit to keep us moving forward.

We do this by focusing on:

Having very high expectations of yourself

We’re resilient, high-performers who are intrinsically motivated, but this environment isn’t for everyone. We expect much from each other, but we demand even more from ourselves. That includes our individual well-being and knowing when to take a break too. We’re on a long journey, and we cannot afford burnout.

Avoiding comfort, seeking growth

A mind focused on pursuing comfort, avoiding failure, and fearing the unknown will kill more dreams than any external obstacles ever could. We have audacious goals for ourselves and our team, and we know that will mean failure sometimes. We own it and make sure to learn from it. But ultimately, we’re optimists and constantly ask, “What could go right?”

Earning your spot every day

Nothing is given to you here other than the chance to perform and contribute. Everything else is earned. We try to remember that what we haven’t achieved will always be greater than what we have. We set aggressive deadlines for ourselves and broadcast them to our team for added accountability. We don’t want to let anyone down. Our teammates, our customers, and ourselves deserve no less.

Character

How we act on things

We judge ourselves on actions. Because your character is what you do, not what you say. And we hold ourselves to a high standard.

There is no room on this team for a lack of decency, decorum, or respect. Abuses of power, misleading or lying, and mistreatment of others, especially those to whom you’ve been entrusted to lead, are fireable offenses.

We take pride in ownership, pride in our environment, and pride in each other. We think about the people we work with and the team we want to become, and we act as if they’re watching.

Our mission and team come first, well above anyone’s ego. Every time, without fail.

Titles and roles don’t dictate how we act. That standard applies universally.

We do this by focusing on:

Being a driver, not a passenger

We have an ownership mentality here. We’re on a journey, and success requires everybody to add to our ship’s speed and direction. If not, we slow down. And we won’t have that. We may not be as productive as we want or do our best work every single day. That’s fine and expected. We’re all humans. But we need to do something about it the next day. We know our limits, and we respect them but push them.

Being inclusive

No matter how you identify, where you’re from, or what your background and experiences are, we welcome you with open arms if you’re a high performer. We know a diverse and inclusive team is a strong team. So, we encourage each other to bring unique viewpoints, insights, and experiences. Our differences strengthen our ability to innovate, push past how things have been done, and create new and novel solutions.

Having fun with it

This type of thing always comes across as bullshit, but we promise it’s not. What we do at Chassi is extremely hard. And stressful. We spend a lot of time together (in person and through our screens), and our work often occupies our headspace. Frankly, it can get trying. So, we have to laugh. Often. And sometimes that means laughing at ourselves.

Intelligence

How we think about things

Most businesses focus on what you know. We focus on how you think.

We view intelligence as questioning what you think you know. (Alternatively, stupidity is thinking you know something without questioning it.)

Chassi’s moat will always be our relentless learning, rapid execution, and iterative feedback loop.

We are an idea meritocracy. The best idea wins, regardless of who thought of it. Titles and roles aren’t a factor here. At all. We can’t emphasize that enough.

We seek and value the truth over ‘being right.’ We exhibit sound judgment and work to hone it continuously. And we live by the expression, “strong opinions, loosely held.”

We do this by focusing on:

Making the complex, simple

At our core, we are solving the complexity plaguing our customers. But we can only do that by introducing simplicity and ease. That is so much harder than it sounds. It’s easier to make the customer work to meet you than refine the product, the messaging, and the experience to meet the customer where they are. So we seek simplicity in everything we do at Chassi.

Learning continuously

We love to learn, we attack our knowledge gaps, and we’re voracious about our quest to level up. We don’t limit ourselves by thinking there is only one right way, though. Instead, we’re coachable and open-minded. We accept well-intentioned feedback and give it the consideration it deserves. We solve for ‘why,’ not just ‘what’ and ‘how’ and we recognize the power in saying, “I don’t know, but I’ll find out.”

Communicating directly

We’re transparent and unafraid of communicating what we think. We do our homework and pressure test our ideas with each other. Then, when we’re in front of our customers or partners, we’re the confident, credible experts they need us to be. We don’t shy away from hard conversations and feedback, but we pair honesty with empathy. And we never mislead, especially our customers and partners.

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