There and back again

This is an email written for my team to remind them of the values & principles that brought us to where we are now

It has been more than three years since we embarked on this unexpected journey together and for some reason, we tend to find ourselves back to similar situations again and again. 

When John and I first join Mindvalley, we were tasked to build Omvana Online. Then soon after that, we started working on Elula while growing the team. And recently, we started a new quest to develop the greatest personal growth learning platform the world have ever seen.

Personally, I think we are amazingly lucky to have the trust of the company to be the go-to team to build the next big thing. All of us should be thankful for the opportunities given to us and we should never take it for granted.

As we begin a new year, it is probably wise for us to reflect on what we did right over the years with the hope to learn from it. If we are lucky enough, we may be able to keep this going for a while more.

We are here to serve

Even though we are tasked to build new projects, each and everyone of you are constantly juggling between supporting all the previous applications we have built while trekking into uncharted territory with new developments.
This heart to serve is the thing I love most about our team. I can see this in each of you, treating others in the company as your customers and making sure to deliver what they need the best way you can. 

And it is not just towards others but also among ourselves. Every time I see Isaac dropping everything to help someone, I can't help but be thankful for this wonderful group of people that I work with day in and day out.

We communicate often and intentionally

As many of you come to realise, communication plays a major role in team productivity and effectiveness. We function better as a team when we keep each other in the loop and when all of us have information parity.

I've strived hard to reduce the number of meetings we have as a team, down to the bare essentials. The ones we do have, are crucial in maintaining the flow of information, clearing blockers and keeping us aligned to the company's vision.

From time to time, Josh have stepped up to provide the team of a clear goal to work towards and rally our effort to focus on the task at hand. As long as we continue to communicate with each other effectively, we will be able to get more things done.

We constantly adapt and learn new things

In our industry, change is the only constant and things are obsolete the moment you hear about it. It is a challenge just to stay updated with the latest development, but surprisingly we are keeping up pretty well.

The switch from Ruby to Elixir have been progressing really well and it was only few months ago, we took the leap and now we are building the new project with it. Of course, we are no experts yet but that's the whole point. The willingness to try something new, relearn, unlearn and adapt is a crucial part of who we are.

Every once in a while, Duane would get excited about yet another way to structure CSS and go on to try it out only to change it a few weeks later. Some may think this is pointless but I beg to differ. This attitude to constantly strive for the better is exactly what we want in this team.

We bring out the best in each other

Working with others don't come naturally for most of us, especially for me. After all, each of us are different and sometimes it definitely seems much easier to go solo and do everything ourselves.

Over the years, I've come to learn that unless we work with each other, there is a limit on how much we can achieve as a team. You guys have shown me the power of great teamwork and how the sum is greater than its parts.

I'm extremely grateful to have, by chance, assembled a team of unique individuals who are able to cast aside their differences and learn to leverage them to its fullest potential. This is why we always send Edham to uncharted territory first to clear the path for the rest of us.

Déjà vu 

You may have noticed that these 4 principles are the exact same ones I've shared 2 years ago. This is intentional because I truly believe we are where we are due to these values. These aren't just some fancy words put together by John and I, but actual attributes embodied by each and everyone of you.

Experience from the past few years have convinced me even more that we have the right team and all that's left for us to do is to work hard and deliver epic work.

As long as we continue to serve with all our hearts, communicate effectively, learn continuously and bring out the best in each other, 2017 is going to be a hell of an adventure.