TakeLessons Culture





Choosing a company to work for is a big deal. It needs to be a fit for you, as much as it needs to be a fit for the company. I’ve published this informational page to help you see if TakeLessons is the sort of company that naturally fits you. There are people out there that will read this and say, “Blech – not for me. I don’t like this sort of environment.”, and others who will read it and say, “Aaaooww yeah! I would totally thrive in this sort of company! How can I get involved?!?”. Neither is incorrect or wrong or right – it’s just a matter of doing what’s right for yourself.

Updated Jan 2015: TakeLessons 9 Traits We Admire in Teammates

As a way of being able to scale our hiring and recruit the talent we want, here are traits that allow all of us to identify the type of person we want working at the company. We can distribute, teach, and reinforce these traits over and across the entire organization. Over time, our team will be able to tell whether or not someone fits on the TL team.

The 9 Traits We Admire in Teammates (in order of importance)

Ranking Trait Description
1 Results-Driven You are focused on the outcome
2 High Integrity You are honest with strong moral principles
3 Collaborative, Team Player You win, and help your teammates win, too.
4 Good Judgment You are intelligent and make wise decisions. Balance gut feel with hard data. Make sensible conclusions.
5 Personally Accountable You hold yourself responsible for both positive and negative outcomes
6 Hungry You have a strong work ethic. You are internally driven to get better, work harder, and win.
7 Communication You are candid, open, respectful, and effective in your communication.
8 Flexible You have the ability to embrace change
9 Resilient You are persistent and bounce back from the inevitable, and occasional disappointments.


  •         Focus on First things First.
  •         Get important results. Put up great numbers.
  •         Constantly grow, improve, and get better.
  •         Sitting still is moving backwards, so commit to constantly pushing forward.
  •         Have a bias for action and speed.
  •         We expect that not only is the job done, but also the process is improved along with it.
  •         Expects high performance from yourself and your teammates.
  •         Always be aware of your key metrics so you know where you stand.

High Integrity.

  •         Make a promise and keep it.
  •         Earn trust by being trustworthy.
  •         Trust your teammates.
  •         Practice Stubborn Refusal – question actions not aligned with our values.
  •         Act in the best interest of the company and fellow teammates.
  •         Be humble and modest, despite being awesome.
  •         No jerks – even if they’re high-impact.

Open & Collaborative

  •         Help your teammates win and keep their best interest at heart.
  •         Be highly collaborative
  •         Make time to help teammates.
  •         Be transparent and never hide information that can help others.
  •         Seek the right answer, even if it’s not your own.
  •         Seek the truth by listening well, seeking to understand before being understood, and taking constructive criticism because we know our teammates have our best interest, and the best interest of the company, at heart.
  •         Practice “Informed Empowerment” – sharing decision-making authority vs. concentrating it only at the top.
  •         Be tolerant and accepting of opinions different than what you are used to.
  •         Celebrates the differences of others.
  •         Be genuinely friendly towards our network of customers, suppliers, and other employees.
  •         Be non-political. You are direct, quick to admit their mistakes, and do not practice or allow silent disagreement. Politics and favoritism have no place in our house.
  •         Because we practice deep personal responsibility, think ‘freedom and openness’ instead of rules, policies, and bureaucracy. Seek ways to get rid of bureaucracy.

Practice Good Judgment (Critical Thinking)

  •         Balance optimism with reality. Always seek truth. Balance gut feel with hard data.
  •         Be smart. Make wise decisions.
  •         Be able to think and act strategically.
  •         We will always have low visibility. So make decisions and move forward without all the answers.
  •         Have a bias towards urgency, decision, and action instead of planning, committees, and waffling.
  •         Make decisions based on a team mentality instead of a family mentality.

Be Personally Accountable:

  •         Be accountable and responsible to yourself, your team, and the company for your decisions, actions, and outcomes.
  •         Be self-motivated and internally driven.
  •         Have written goals and execute on first things first.
  •         Spend money wisely – like it was your own.
  •         Own the outcome.
  •         Say what needs to be said and do what needs to be done.
  •         Perseverance. When things get tough, press forward with the belief that we have within our power the ability to change outcome.

Be Hungry and Passionate

  •         Retain absolute faith that we will prevail in the end, regardless of the challenge, and at the same time, confront the most brutal facts of our current reality, whatever they might be.
  •         Be passionate about what you do. Care deeply.
  •         Constantly look for ways to improve, grow, and move forward.
  •         Have a deep inside yearning to want to win.
  •         Expect to succeed and excel in all you do.
  •         Learn rapidly and eagerly. Seek knowledge.
  •         Have a strong work ethic. Work hard and long not because your boss is looking, but because that’s the type of person you are.
  •         Work should be more than just a way to make a living. It should be enjoyable, rewarding, and fulfilling on a deeper level. And it’s up to you to create that environment every day.
  •         Be bold. Take calculated risks.
  •         Celebrate wins.

Be a Good Communicator

  •         C – Candid (Communicate the bad with the good. Don’t hide the bad or sugarcoat the truth.)
  •         O – Open (Be open towards your intent. Speak your mind and be accepting of the views of your teammates. Seek the right answer, even if it’s not your own.)
  •         R – Respectful (Have courageous conversations in a way that does not attack the person. They are your teammate because they are smart and thoughtful.)
  •         E – Effective (Your communications should get to the best answer and help your teammates improve).
  •         Be confident, without an ego.
  •         Seek the truth through listening well, seeking to understand before being understood, and taking constructive criticism because we know our teammates have our best interest, and the best interest of the company, in mind.
  •         Say what you think is right and helpful, even if it’s controversial
  •         You say things about fellow teammates that you’d only say to their face.
  •         Run effective meetings. Don’t waste time. Have an agenda.
  •         Be concise and articulate

Be Flexible.

  •         Embrace permanent white-water.
  •         Be comfortable in unstructured situations that are novel, unknown, surprising, and different than usual.
  •         Welcome change as a way to constantly learn.
  •         More rubber, less glue.

Be Resilient.

  •         Be able to bounce back from the inevitable disappointments that will come your way.
  •         Be persistent and see things through to the end.
  •         Find a way to get things done. Go through a wall, around it, under it, over it, whatever you have to do – just get to the other side.


TakeLessons Culture - 9 Traits We Admire in Teammates