Valuing the right things
These values were written down as a guide to help us be better people and do better work. At MyBuilder, we try to embody these values day in, day out. Our values help guide us as we take on difficult projects and do our day-to-day work. They influence the way in which we work and how we interact with each other. As with most things in life, they are a work in progress.
Dedication is the single most important ingredient of any successful pursuit. Dedication implies a belief in what you’re doing and a willingness to prioritise and sacrifice. This drives focus, hard work, excellence, and therefore, success.
Without a doubt, every single success story across the world will have involved serious dedication. It’s how ordinary people achieve extraordinary things. Dedication is also an attribute of a great tradesperson. MyBuilder tradespeople are dedicated to their craft. And we are dedicated to them.
Why do you do what you do? Why do you get out of bed in the morning and come to work?
If the answer is because you need money to pay your bills, that’s no purpose at all. Purpose is about why you do the particular thing you do and how it contributes to the purpose of the company, and how that in turn adds something positive to the wider world. Everything you do should be able to ladder up to something big that you believe in. When you get into that frame of mind, you care about what you do. It makes sense. And it makes you happy.
Living life to the fullest means having the courage to get out of our comfort zone and try new things. When we do that, we’re going to fail quite a lot. It’s the fear of failure that can keep us from being the best that we can be.
When we fail at something, we can have two very different reactions: we could kick ourselves for being so stupid, or we could pat ourselves on the back for trying, and keep at it.
Readily admitting mistakes and not trying to prove that we’re right is the mark of someone who lives this value. And out of that comes a greater ability to learn and work with others.
We could be like most companies and hire specialists to do everything that we’re not experts at or don’t feel like doing. But instead, we choose to do most of these things ourselves. Sometimes that means that we find ourselves doing what may seem to be low-value tasks, or we struggle with things that we’re not so good at. That’s OK. We don’t say that our time is worth more than doing a menial task. And we value the learning experiences that come with doing something different. We know that these things enrich our lives, help us feel that we’re a part of the world around us, and they encourage us to understand and value all types of work.
Teams work better when people communicate well with each other. What does communicating well mean? For us, it’s about being transparent, open and respectful. When things need to be said, say them. Don’t hold back on delivering a hard truth because you’re worried about what someone’s reaction might be. And don’t hold back on giving someone praise because you might feel a bit embarrassed. Try your best to share your feelings and be clear about your thoughts, and always do that with respect to others. Communicating well is a practised art, and as with most things, takes a bit of courage too.
We all know that we can’t get very far without sharing ideas. It seems easy, yet it can be very painful when our ideas get shot down. Not all ideas are good ones, and that’s the case no matter how smart you are. So the trick is to have the humility to accept that we’re no different than anybody else in having both good and bad ideas and to take those ideas that pass through us and discuss them dispassionately. It’s not the initial idea that’s so important, but the ability to sift through lots of ideas and work with others collaboratively to uncover and polish the gems. Humility is the key, not only in discussing your own ideas but also in listening to the ideas of others.
To be really effective, we have to be determined to get things done, and smart enough to find an efficient way to do them. We have to try to fit things in, rather than wait until we have plenty of time. This also involves prioritising ruthlessly, being creative, and taking risks. We should try to do things better, rather than blindly doing things the way they’ve always been done.
This is so important because the difference in effectiveness between someone who is scrappy and productive and someone who is not can be huge. If we are scrappy and productive, not only do we get more work done, we also have better ideas and the quality of our work is higher.
Acting like an owner starts with putting the team and company first. We should all work for the good of the company as we own it. This attitude will help us prioritise the right things, produce high-quality work and spend company money like it’s our own.
If something needs to be done, do it: whether it’s an important project, taking out the rubbish, or helping someone in another team achieve success. Take it on, make sure it happens. Don’t assume that someone else is going to do it or that it’s not your problem. This attitude helps us realise that when the company wins, we win. It’s about teamwork and putting everyone first. It’s also about being a part of something great, that we helped build.