I firmly believe that any man’s finest hour, the greatest fulfillment of all that he holds dear, is that moment when he has worked his heart out on a good cause and he lies exhausted on the field of battle, victorious
In ancient Rome, victorious generals marched in triumph to the Capitol. Lest the occasion go to the army commander’s head, a slave would march behind the victor, murmuring in his ear, memento mori, “remember you’re mortal”.
Can care less about the article. Love the reminder.
The company today has just 10 people working in both Paris and London, but is thinking now about how it can continue to move toward profitability – a goal it’s currently expecting to hit before next summer. After teaming up with French company Process One to run the Boxcar service (founder Jonathan George sold it to Kwaga last summer and has moved onto Evomail), the company is thinking about how WriteThat.Name could be integrated directly into Evomail itself.
When I was 17, I read a quote that went something like: “If you live each day as if it was your last, someday you’ll most certainly be right.” It made an impression on me, and since then, for the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: “If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?” And whenever the answer has been “No” for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.
Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything — all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure - these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.
After someone finds out that Evomail is based in the midwest, one question that almost always comes up, even if it’s not spoken out loud, is “how do you find engineers?”.
Fellow founders in the Valley and in NYC have enough trouble hiring people locally that they typically believe it’s almost impossible for someone like myself to find, hire and retain quality talent in the midwest.
Evomail isn’t blinded by the idea that everyone has to be in the same room. We want to work with the most talented people in the world and we’re willing to hire those people wherever they’ve chosen to build their lives….
What good CEOs understand is that leadership isn’t about being nice or tough, it’s about relating to and influencing people. If a leader’s goal is to be nice, he may have to compromise his integrity and decision-making ability in the process of appeasing everyone. Obviously, he’s not going to be effective.
I teach my students to be value-based leaders. A value-based leader is self-reflective, someone who looks at a situation from all perspectives; who seeks to understand before being understood; who is willing to admit when he is wrong or when he doesn’t know; who has genuine humility and a belief that he can always get better.
As to the question of whether companies can afford to operate with a value-based leader—they can’t afford not to. Customers want to buy from companies that stand behind their products and deliver them through ethical means. Employees at all levels want to be valued as contributing partners. Companies that understand these concepts will do well and generate shareholder value.