Levels culture—as told by the people who work there

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We think a lot about culture at Levels. As a fully-remote team, being intentional about how we work together is crucial to the company’s success and our happiness. So we recently interviewed everyone at the company about our core values and compiled what we heard into these videos. We also gathered other resources that have informed our thinking about these values, including books and podcasts.

🥁 Trust and Autonomy

  • Trust is the foundation of the Levels team
  • Our team members trust each other to get work done and to do it autonomously.
  • When it comes to giving and receiving feedback, our team trusts that it will be delivered in a thoughtful and actionable way.
  • We trust each other’s judgment. We may have differing opinions on certain initiatives, but we trust the guidance of the team members who are making decisions on behalf of the team for specific projects.
Books

Drive | Daniel H. Pink

Articles

Everything Starts with Trust

Podcasts

‎Super Soul: Dr. Brené Brown: The Anatomy of Trust on Apple Podcasts

‎LEVELS — A Whole New Level: #22 — Building culture at a startup with Marc Randolph on Apple Podcasts


🏕 Asynchronous & Remote

  • The Levels team works as an entirely remote team. We have members across the US and Canada, in South America and in Europe.
  • Our communication is default asynchronous, and we try to have as few meetings as possible.
  • Synchronous communication can be distracting when not used correctly. This doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t meet when meetings are required, but we should be cognizant of not distracting others with synchronous messages when urgent responses aren’t required
  • We don’t have a centralized office and believe that people can get their work done from anywhere that they choose and on a schedule they choose.
Books

Remote: Office Not Required

Articles

How asynchronous communication could change your workday

Asynchronous Communication: More Productive & Inclusive Teamwork

How to Create an Asynchronous Work Culture

Remote Work Is Here to Stay: Are You Ready for the New Way of Life?

Leveraging Asynchronous Communication To Bring Out The Best In Others

Podcasts

‎The Pomp Podcast: #417: Chris Herd on The Future of Work on Apple Podcasts

‎How I Work: Digital nomad and CEO: Working efficiently from anywhere with Sam Corcos on Apple Podcasts

‎How I Work: BEST OF: GitLab’s Head of Remote, Darren Murph, on how to create corporate culture when no one works from the office on Apple Podcasts

‎How I Work: My Favourite Tip: Free yourself from meetings with Gitlab’s Darren Murph on Apple Podcasts


🙋‍♀️ Honesty & Respect

  • Honesty and respect are two of the underlying principles of the way we communicate as a team.
  • We give feedback directly, in a timely manner.
  • Although we may not agree on all initiatives (nor should we), we disagree respectfully and commit to decisions as a team.
Books

Dare to Lead: Brave Work. Tough Conversations. Whole Hearts.

The Honest Truth About Dishonesty: How We Lie to Everyone — Especially Ourselves

Articles

How Honesty Could Make You Happier (Published 2017)

Podcasts

‎Impact Theory with Tom Bilyeu: #153 Jocko Willink on Respect, Influence and Leadership | Impact Theory on Apple Podcasts

‎Jocko Podcast: 97: Leadership Do’s and Don’ts. Be Humble, Keep Your People Informed, and Treat Others With Respect. “The Diary of a Napoleonic Foot Soldier” on Apple Podcasts


🧪 Experimentation

  • We are willing to try many things, and failure is an option.
  • Test > Learn > Iterate — three principles that are the foundation for all experiments.
  • If we’re not testing, we’re not learning, and if we don’t learn, we can’t improve on everything we’re working on.
  • Experimentation is in the DNA of Levels and every project that we undertake as a team — big or small.
Books

Experimentation Works: The Surprising Power of Business Experiments

Articles

Building a Culture of Experimentation

Podcasts

‎HBR IdeaCast: 722: How to Set Up — and Learn — from Experiments on Apple Podcasts


🌪 Velocity & Scrappiness

  • Our team moves fast — we test things in the shortest period of time possible in order to learn, get feedback, and improve.
  • We’re comfortable shipping work that is 80% “good enough” — provided the work doesn’t have to do with objective health information, customer data, or security.
  • We set our sights on default “ship” and adjust course as we go.
  • Velocity outweighs perfection.
Books

The Lean Startup: How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses

Articles

Forget Grit-Be Scrappy

Council Post: The Art Of Scrappy: What Large Organizations Can Learn From Startups

Developer Velocity: How software excellence fuels business performance

Podcasts

‎The Tim Ferriss Show: Ep 30: Tracy DiNunzio, Founder of Tradesy, on High-Velocity Growth and Tactics on Apple Podcasts

‎Indie Hackers: #001 — Building an Audience and Being Scrappy with Jason Grishkoff of SubmitHub on Apple Podcasts