Reputation is Everything
The Iternal Brand means the best, and as a member of the Team you are expected to maintain our highly-regarded reputation with top-quality work from a professional team.
Contribute to the Conversation
If you are a part of a conversation, you are expected to contribute to it. This means to provide insight, share ideas, challenge them and ask questions. Ask questions constantly because the only dumb questions are the ones left unasked. You have a seat at the table, so make sure to take advantage of it even if you are just intently listening, taking notes, and learning. Iternal succeeds because we recognize the collective greatness created from brilliant minds collaborating. Every person has a unique background and skill set that makes them excellent at their job. Together, we collaborate on everything we work on and delegate specific jobs to the people who are the best able to deliver success on that task.
The manner in which you look, speak and present yourself speaks volumes to how you value yourself and the people you work with. Our standard, especially when working with clients and prospects, is to show ultimate professionalism, whether in-person, online (email, phone calls, texts, videoconferencing) or via personal or professional social media profiles.
Identify Opportunities for Team Growth
Each day there is opportunity for Team growth – to discover and craft new ways of improving what you do and what we do collectively as a team. As an Internal Team member, you must have a growth mindset. You are expected to do your job, improve the way your job is performed and look for opportunities to improve the way the Iternal team delivers greatness to a client. With each Team member’s unique perspective lies the opportunity to recognize and understand more ways for Iternal and the Team to prosper. When working on any task or project, a constant question that you should be asking yourself and the rest of the Team is “How can my unique perspective add to and improve Iternal?” The answer to this question will lead to growth and positive change both personally and for the Team.
Honesty is a requirement. Whether you are stuck on an assignment, made a mistake, or felt treated unfairly or unjustly, it is essential to you as an individual, and Iternal as a company, to be upfront about something that is wrong. Broken trust will not be tolerated and will lead to termination. The truth is the easiest story to tell, over and over again, as it never changes – stick to the truth.
Trust is Foundational
Trust is a quality that Iternal was founded on and is an extremely valued aspect to how our Team works together and conducts business. Stay true to your word, and when you commit something to a team member or client, deliver your commitment with no excuses.
Great people intuitively know what needs to be done. You are expected to seek out your work and take the initiative to define the goals you can accomplish for the company. While we understand there is a certain amount of guidance at the beginning of every journey, we will not hold your hand every step of the way. You should approach each new initiative with the expectation of hitting the ground running on your own after our first meeting.
Time is Our Most Valuable Asset
When you’re at work, there may be moments of downtime, like waiting for a client to arrive to a meeting. If you experience this, spend the down time preparing yourself to execute more effectively and use these moments to better prepare yourself for what’s to come. Offer to help a team member, or research your client and their industry to see what’s happening in their world. Capitalizing on your spare time is an opportunity to position yourself for success.
Take Extreme Ownership
At Iternal, everyone takes ownership for their work, whether it’s a huge success or a massive disaster. Not every project will be executed perfectly and problems are always expected, but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t constantly work toward getting it right the first time around. If there are mistakes, accept responsibility, learn and move on. If you lead a team and it fails, it is solely your responsibility. There’s no reason to worry as long as you tried your absolute best and utilized all of the resources at your disposal. Work with the team to understand what went wrong and collectively make sure that mistake is not repeated.
Address Problems and Challenges Head-On and Immediately
Iternal enables healthy communication, which is why we must consider ourselves to be healthy communicators. If you come across any type of problem, address it with those involved immediately in a direct and respectful manner. This applies to all problems, including but not limited to: work mistakes, interactions in the workplace, personal matters that affect work, etc. Never let problems fester as more time does not fix the problem but generally makes it worse. Get it out quickly so that the healing and growth process can begin.
Teamwork is Paramount
When working within the Team, we respect one another by giving our full attention, providing thoughtful ideas and feedback, asking questions, and investing in the work that each person is doing. Everything you do will be to further the collective mission of the team.
When working with partners, we show kindness and respect for the professional relationship. While we do offer support and feedback where our expertise allows us to help propel their business forward, we also keep in mind that we always put the Iternal Team first.
When working with clients, we always show professionalism and kindness, we use manners and say “thank you,” demonstrate an active interest in their work, make ourselves available to contribute to their objectives within the scope of our agreement, and search for opportunities to continue growing the business relationship.
When working with prospects, we also always show professionalism, come to every meeting prepared and knowledgeable about their line of work, work to understand their project scope, and present our best work and best selves. Carefully analyze their attitude and persona to determine if they are a company that embodies the same beliefs that Iternal does and if they
Have a Sense of Urgency
Iternal operates in a fast-paced work environment to maintain efficiency and assure that we meet our clients’ needs. Missing deadlines is not only counterproductive to our projects’ successes, but also our entire Team’s work. Deadlines are created collaboratively. Team members are expected to work toward deadlines as quickly as possible without sacrificing quality.
Respect People’s Time
Respecting people’s time is critical both when working with clients and team members. Clients are executives busy running their business. Time is precious to them and wasting their time makes Iternal look bad. Always come prepared and ready to execute. The same goes for work with Team members. Meeting time with Iternal Team members is precious, so please don’t waste our time. Come prepared and ready to discuss your progress on projects with the team, be an expert in your topic, and communicate those thoughts concisely.
Keep Things Simple
There’s never a need to make things more complicated than they have to be. Keep things simple. Keep things short. Don’t bullshit.
Some decisions that must be made are risky and complex. Get all the information you can, weigh all your options, consult other Team members, and make a decision. It’s difficult to accomplish anything if no decision is made, and also difficult to remain efficient if you keep going back-and-forth between options. Use your best judgement to decide and strive your best to make that decision worthwhile.
Know Your Weaknesses
Acknowledge your weaknesses, learn to grow, and work toward personal improvement. If you don’t know your weaknesses, then ask other people for their constructive feedback and introspect to determine accuracy. This directly aligns with Iternal’s values of being honest and taking initiative.
Be Flexible, Open and Adaptable
If we are open to the change that will further Iternal’s long-term goals, as a Team there is absolutely nothing that can get in our way of success. No delay, no news, no problem can interfere with our drive to accomplish what we set out to do as long as we commit ourselves to being flexible and adaptable.
Be constructively critical of your work and others’. We as a Team, and our work as a company, cannot reach the next level if we never take on challenges. Whether you see the opportunity to improve a task that another Team member is doing, or see potential for growth in an already-great idea, take the time to reflect on how it can be even better. Challenge yourself and the rest of the team to make it happen.
Embrace the idea of sharing
Whether you are a developer, business development team member, or part of the legal team, you have a valued voice that brings experience and wisdom to the table. Iternal does not seek to keep people separated in their silos, but rather to invite collaboration across business units. Outside perspectives are incredibly useful, bringing points of view that help spur beneficial discussions that might have never happened. Iternal encourages frank conversations and invites everyone from the most junior team member to executive team members to share with each other.
Iternal strives for 80% functionality in the first iteration, 95% in the second iteration, and 99% in the third iteration. Every iteration takes longer and eventually reaches a point of diminishing returns. Be mindful of the point of diminishing returns and recognize that 100% of all functionality is dangerous and creates product bloat. Going from 80% to 95% and 95% to 99% requires substantial effort.
Follow the SOPs
When working with a client, our Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) are to be followed precisely to ensure the best possible outcome for each customer. We’ve worked hard to develop and nurture positive relationships with our clients, partners and connections, and we expect this standard to be practiced at all times. This guarantees accountability and that everyone will be on the same page, understand what is expected of them, and understand what is expected of their teammates.
Dress for Success
Dressing for success immediately communicates our Team standards. We are professionals, therefore we wear business professional attire, especially when our interactions are client-facing.
Accept Feedback and Criticism
Getting feedback and criticism is a regular expectation. It should always be communicated constructively. As the receiver of feedback, you should view it as an opportunity for growth. Everyone on the Team should embrace feedback, which means we all embrace growth and collective improvement.
Grow Into Your Role
Growth is an absolute requirement. We envision it, we plan for it, and we enable it. We are committed to helping you grow, through mentorships, workshops, and master training sessions. True mastery doesn’t happen overnight – it takes time, and a lot of hard work. The opportunity for you to achieve it, in the things you’re most passionate about, is right here if you have the determination to pursue it.
Have an Executive Presence
We work with executives on a daily basis. Working with executives means our conduct must always be at the same level. Have confidence, be direct, and follow through with your commitments. When working with clients this is an absolute requirement 100% of the time..
Having an executive presence does not mean you have a stick up your butt. It is important you enjoy your work and have fun with the people around you. There is a time and place for different interactions, just make sure you choose the right ones based on the situation.
Be thoughtful – You Can’t Take It Back
The objective of the tenets is to ensure that you, as a part of the Team, understand the Iternal culture. Mistakes are part of learning. But, there are good mistakes and bad mistakes. The good ones can teach a lesson and enable organizational growth. The bad mistakes break trust and hurt the team. Whether it’s words or actions, these mistakes cannot be taken back and may result in termination. Think for yourself and avoid groupthink, question why you believe something and make sure it actually resonates with your personal values and is not just something “people say.” Don’t joke about people’s mothers, equate lesser things to Hitler and the Nazis, etc.
Being Disrespectful is Not Acceptable
As you’ve realized reading the tenets so far, respect is paramount to how Iternal operates. There should never be a moment where you or anyone else feels disrespected. If there is, the problem is expected to be called attention upon immediately so that it can be addressed. Simply put, don’t be an asshole and don’t ignore when others are being an asshole.
Three Times Consider, Three Times Patience, Three Times Forgive
This is the student action philosophy of John’s martial arts trainer, Grandmaster Wonik Yi of Tukong Moosul. When in any tough situation, keep this mantra in mind. Run through the following steps three times before taking action.
Three Times Consider – Consider the situation, consider the other person, consider what you have done to get to this situation, and consider all possible actions you can take from this point forward.
Three Times Patience – Have patience in the situation, do not rush to an action, and have patience with the other person. Take a moment to step back and give them a chance to rectify what has just happened.
Three Times Forgive – Do your best to let it go. Take a breath and move beyond the situation. Elevate yourself about the situation and the other person.
If you have done each of these steps three times and the situation still persists or continues to move in a negative direction, take immediate and decisive action to emerge victorious in the situation. Do not regret the decision you made after such careful consideration. If you follow this philosophy to the best of your ability, you must be able to forgive yourself too. And never disrespect the martial arts.
Preparedness is part of your role
When assigned a specific task, you are expected to prepare a strategic plan of action which outlines in detail how you plan to accomplish the task. At all internal company meetings regarding that task, you are expected and encouraged to present status updates, speak your mind, be honest and transparent, voice concerns, challenge ideas you disagree with, be flexible, open, and adaptable, be present in both mind and body, and contribute to all conversations on the subject.
Believe in Yourself
You’re here because you are someone we believe will be a valuable asset to the Team. Believe in yourself and your abilities because we believe in you. There is no assignment, task, or challenge that you can’t tackle and succeed in.
Believe in Your Work
Every member of Iternal believes in the work that we are creating. We approach our industry very differently than our competitors. What we create is not a job, it’s a passion. If you don’t believe in our brand or your work, find a job somewhere else. Our passion is reflected in every piece of content that we create and every interaction we have. This passion is undoubtedly supported by every Team member. This passion is what makes Iternal the absolute best.
Engage Your Brain
Think before you act. Think before you ask questions. Think before you speak. Three Times Consider, Three Times Patience, Three Times Forgive. And don’t be an idiot.
Ask for Help When you Need It
After you’ve exhausted all your resources and analyzed every scenario, don’t be afraid to ask the leadership team for help or guidance on a challenge. Guidance is part of their job and part of the team’s growth. No question at any time is a dumb one as long as you’ve made an effort to answer it on your own first. In fact, questions are the very first thing that are encouraged when given a new task.
Think before you speak and look for cognitive dissonance
The words you use in conversation define who you are and hold meaning.
They are your words, and therefore should be 100% supported by you. Don’t make statements that could be generalized or misinterpreted, and if you do, make sure you clarify them immediately.
Think about your words carefully before you say them, and consider how they will impact the people you are saying them to. If you make a statement or propose an idea, your words will be considered a direct reflection of your character.
- Examples: “All companies are evil and take advantage of people.” – Iternal is a company… we aren’t evil. If you believe Iternal is evil because we are a company, work somewhere else.
Iternal does not endorse a trivialized usage of serious words such as “hate.” Be very specific and very thoughtful with your words before you use them. One wrong word in the wrong situation could end a career or shatter a reputation.
Choose the right words for the right situation, have confidence in yourself and how you are communicating with the world. Ideas, meaning, or intentions that are lost in translation, when communicated by you, have two potential points of failure, your mouth and their ears. Make sure you do everything you can to ensure the accurate message is coming out of your mouth.
Running late to meetings, a project falls behind schedule, etc. Always communicate your delays and prepare a plan of action to get back on track. Sometimes, we’re not in complete control of keeping things on schedule, but we can control communicating about them.
Arriving early is preferred, recognizing it is not always possible. Know ahead of time how long it will take to go somewhere and always add buffer time. Arriving early gives you time to prepare mentally and come into any engagement sharp and situated.
Be a Iternal Brand Ambassador
Share, retweet, like and comment on social posts. Share excitement with family and friends, just make sure not to discuss specifics and keep all confidential information confidential. Unchecked excitement to share something from work could hurt Iternal. As an Iternal Team member, you are inherently an Iternal brand ambassador.
Loyalty is Paramount
Stand by your Team. Back them up, provide constructive feedback, don’t trash talk them, and share the success and failures together. We want to enable people to have long-term careers with Iternal, and our objective is a non-existent employee turnover rate. We want to invest in your success, so you can in turn invest in ours.
Replace “I Don’t Know” with “I Will Know”
We don’t know everything, but you must have confidence in your own ability to learn and grow. If we ask you do to something you have never done before, communicate that you may need help, guidance, or that it may take you some time to do it, but do not allow this to cloud your ability to confidently accomplish your goals.
“I Will Get Back to You on That”
If someone asks you something you don’t know, it is okay that you don’t know. Even subject matter experts don’t know everything. Next time you are in a meeting or talking with a colleague and you are asked a question you don’t know, respond with “I will get back to you on that”. This is much better than giving a mediocre answer that doesn’t reflect an adequate understanding of the issue. Take the time to learn about the issue, master it, and then initiate a conversation once you are ready.
Knowledge is Power, share the power
Share knowledge about the business with your peers, do not build artificial walls of knowledge. We also encourage you to read the books we recommend, and encourage you to discuss the books you are reading with other members of the Team. There are so many books that will change the way you look at the world, and give you amazing power to succeed in your personal and professional life. Take advantage of this opportunity – it’s worth it. Iternal has a team dedicated Audible Audiobook account in which every team member is encouraged to read at least one book every 2 weeks.
Tukong Moosul Martial Arts philosophy: Practice does not make perfect. Perfect Practice Makes Perfect. Practice without intention or focus is sloppy. You will only ever be as good as your practice, so always practice with intention, focus, thoughtfulness, and aim to make your practice the best it can be.
Communication goes both ways, and we must all listen carefully to everyone with whom we communicate. Ideas, meaning, or intentions that are lost in translation when communicated to you have two potential points of failure, their mouth and your ears. Ensure your ears are never the point of failure, by giving everyone the courtesy of listening to what they say, thinking about what has been said, processing that information, clarifying any questions you have about that information, restating that information to the other party in acknowledgement, and then acting on that information. This may be hard at times, but will help ensure our team’s communication never breaks down.
Expect the Worst and Hope for the Best
There is a difference between being “pessimistic,” and being “realistic, practical, and smart/cautious.” Amazingly, today many people who are realistic, practical and smart/cautious are labeled as being pessimistic. This is wrong and the societal impacts of this conflation are very dangerous. Being realistic, practical and smart/cautious can absolutely mean that you are optimistic about the future, and in some cases, can even mean you are more optimistic about what will happen; Because you have the confidence to achieve greatness, have planned for every contingency, and are prepared. At Iternal, we expect the worst and hope for the best regardless of whether we just came off of the biggest win in the history of the company, or the biggest failure. We plan, anticipate, and always do everything in our power to allow our hope for success to be realized through hard work, dedication, and realistic-practical-smart thinking.
Cross Many Bridges Before You Get to Them
Strategy and strategic planning are critical to long term success. The common saying of “We will cross that bridge when we get to it.” is not our approach at Iternal. There are absolutely times when we have no direct control over a seemingly daunting challenge, however there are always ways around direct control. By elevating your thinking above the immediate and obvious, many times new strategies can be identified and created that will impact the thing you previously had no control over. This is Grand Strategy. Iternal plans, roadmaps, and anticipates actions many steps ahead, and we do this regardless of our certainty of the final outcome. Being prepared is critical to being able to make the most of every opportunity. Our plans may not always be accurate, or play out the way we anticipate, but when they do work in our favor, the results are incredible. When they don’t go in our favor, we can quickly move on and never second guess our commitment and efforts “to do everything we could to achieve a positive result.
Kill 4 Birds with One Stone
Conventional wisdom is not the business we are in. Limiting yourself to what conventional wisdom says, will only limit your ability to achieve. You are not everyone else. Work harder, innovate more, and prove that you can kill 4 birds with one stone. Be smart, and don’t over promise, but constantly strive to break convention and turn common beliefs upside down.