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Culture Code  - A Cumulative Code Of Ethics 

Regardless of the size of your startup, company, agency or consultancy, a code of ethics by which you work and play is the core foundation in building out your culture code. 

It will serve as a constant reminder that inspires you to do what you do every day to the best of your abilities. 

It's also one of the core fundamentals of developing an Inbound culture throughout the entire company.

The JeremySaid culture code is a representation of part employee handbook  part code of ethics and part core values that may add up to some calling this a manifesto.  

The culture code you are about to read has been/is and always will be a work in progress.  

You may have read other blog posts that state how important it is to not only have a culture code but to document it and live by it every day.  This is one statement that will always ring true.  It's imperative that your culture code comes to life and is part of your everyday dealings both internally and with the customer. 

I've been fortunate to work on some great projects with great people over the years.  Very early on I was given some advice to keep a professional journal of sorts documenting the ups and downs of my journey in the digital world. 

This is a direct result of all the years documenting my wins, losses  and ties throughout my professional career. 

Core Values 

1. Integrity Above All Else 

2. Reputation Over Revenue 

3. Extreme Ownership

4. Extreme Organization 

5. Balanced Humilty 

6. Endless Curiosity 

7. Get Stuff Done!

8. Measure Before All Else 

9. Users First, Everything Elze 2nd (including Google)

10. Practice Living In The No "I Think" Zone

Culture Code Rule # 1 - Integrity Above All Else

Integrity by definition is the QUALITY of being honest, not just being honest in a given situation. By definition it also refers to one who has a strong moral code.  

For me it's simple.  It's always striving to do the right thing, even though no one is watching and no one will ever find out. To quote C.S. L:ewos.- Integrity is doing the right thing even when no one is watching.

Culture Code Rule # 2 - Reputation Over Revenue

All-day,.everyday, , without question. 

One phrase that you will hear me say quite frequently is -

For Good For Profit 

This is what we strive for every day. It's a phrase that I've adopted as one of my core ethics as I've matured through my business endeavors and that of JeremySaid and it's employees. 

Culture Code Rule # 3 - Extreme Ownership

Oddly enough, this doesn't appear to be something that most of us are born with. It's so much easier to point the finger and simply shift the blame or refocus the intent of a consequence. 

However, within digital project management and agency life, those who own outcomes and guide teams to successful endeavors, rise to the top quickly and confidently. 

We strive to be insanely accurate on everything we touch, especially when dealing with customer outcomes. We know it's not possible to be 100 percent but we give it everything we have to get as close as we can. knowing that mistakes will be made.  The best thing is to learn from them, document them for future reference and to pass on to others coming up through the ranks. 

This level of honesty and tact will resonate throughout any internal or customer relationship you have.

Culture Code Rule # 4 - Extreme Organization

There is no worse secret and silent agency killer than being unorganized even the slightest bit.  

This also stems from the top and requires persistence as well as adherence to policy and process. 

There is nothing worse than wasting a customer or potential customer's time on the phone or even an in-person meeting because you can't find a file that you were supposed to review and you come to find out there are 15 different versions of the "final version" and they are in 15 different locations. 

Might as well just hang it up and start over. Again, I can't stress this enough that there is no worse agency enemy than an owner and/or management team that isn't organized as a professional. 

Culture Code Rule # 5 - Balanced Humility

One thing that has always remained a constant for me is an unquenchable thirst for knowledge.  And at this point you may be thinking, yeah yeah Jeremy, doesn't this have more to do with Number 6 - endless curiosity?  

And the answer is sure, absolutely, However, the point here is that I love to learn and I know I can never stop learning. On the flip side, I absolutely love to teach.  I feel it's one of those internal civic duties if you will,. to pass on the knowledge I've gained in a way that relates to whatever that person is doing or engaging in at any given time.  

Teaching someone something and asking them to just remember really isn't teaching nor is it learning. 

The reason I've gone a little over the deep end here setting up the framework for balanced humility is that in order to have the empathetic skills to learn from someone regardless of age or experience is equally as important as knowing that at some given interval it will be your turn to teach others what you've learned along the way. 

Both of these endeavors take an incredible amount of humility and its something that my parents instilled in me from an early age. Humility is a very close cousin of gratitude and exudes class at every level. It's one of the top soft traits I've looked for over the years in people that I want to be around, work with and/or work for. 

We can all always practice being a little more humble every day. 


Culture Code Rule # 6 - Endless Curiosity

And it seems like I was just talking about this too.  Ah yes, I was. It goes right along with the "never being satisfied" statement that you may hear around the office. Which builds upon the extreme ownership piece etc etc.  You get where.I am going with all of this. 

Curiosity is one of those innermost feelings that allow us to continue to explore something until we are satisfied with the answer we've found or have been given. 

My never ever ever  ending darkest deepest alternate galaxy of curiosity has served me very well in the digital world over the last 20 years. 

It's allowed me to ask why not only 5 times like they say you should, .but 50 times and still sometimes not get to the core of "why this stupid silly site will all these stuffed keywords everywhere and in white text is ranking higher than our customer's site.  Talk about an 18 hour day without even thinking about going home.  More like - did someone bring an extra sleeping bag so I can stay under my desk today until I figure this problem out. 

That's the kind of endless curiosity I am talking about. Now, the real question is, how do you prove to the person interviewing you that you are curious. My favorite is when I am training someone to do interviewing and they accidentally ask if the person is curious or not as a yes or no question.  

Talk about an awkward moment. Usually one happens once those, as the person training doesn't make that mistake twice.  

I've always repeatedly stated to anyone working for me that this was a trait that you have to possess working in this industry.  9-5 is just when we try and get most of the client stuff done and most of the time it doesn't get all the way done. 

The real magic happens during your researching time either after dinner / before bedtime or even on occasion the way late nighter / I couldn't sleep honey so I just dove into all the stuff I have to learn in order to be on top as a technical marketer.  

Usually that's followed by a big sigh, a rolling of the eyes and a whatever, if you are lucky.  Note: no where in here do a recommend this being a habit, but on occasion it does happen if your curiosity meter pegs the red line. 


Culture Code Rule # 7 - Get Stuff Done (GSD)

Say it any way you want to say it. Number 7 is no stranger to any one of us that works in technology / saas or startup land. 

It's one of those of those acroynms that you can use at really any time or any place within the working day. 

You can choose to go PG or ramp it up with emphasis and let your own rated R version flair from your lungs as you try to motivate and inspire everyone around you. 8

Culture Code Rule # 8 - Measure Before All Else 

We all know that we should be measuring any campaign that we create, so why almost always left behind or worse, left out? 

I guess one of the reasons is just how us marketers are trained to dive in and get something done in order to please the boss or meet a customer deadline. However, the reality is we should all remember the saying "what gets measured gets managed" 

This is nowhere near as difficult as it once was to measure where traffic is coming from or what data can we see behind users converting on our site. 

With attribution reporting being one of the most important aspects of analytics,, I still find so many times that when someone opens Google Analytics, the default views are always "all users' We can change this is if we try, but we all have to work together. 

Culture Code Rule # 9 - Users 1st, Everything Else Second (Even Google) 

This is something I've been saying for as long as I can remember.  It's one of those special rules of thumb that I learned very early on when working in the digital world of website redesigns and SEO optimization. 

If we always stay true to our whoever we are creating content for and stive to understand exactly what it is their issues are and how we can help, even if it falls outside of the sccope of our offerings or has nothing to do with them.  This is the core to why we marketers do what we do. We like to help people. Especially when you have the knowledge  on how to do something in this digital world that others don't. 

It's time for all of us to take a step back when optimizing online or creating content for whatever reason and make sure it stays true to helping others first and foremost. 

Culture Code Rule # 10 - Practice Living In the No "I Think" Zone

This one is simple. Try to bring some samples of data, when sitting in on meetings and trying to figure out a solution to a problem. 

I can recall so many times listening to everyone around me saying "I think" and then giving advice on what should go where or how something should look or say, with little or no regard for the end user. 

There will definitely be times when I think is the only thing you can go on, which is completely fine. But challenge yourself or a colleague (in a friendly way of course) and ask if there is anything you can do to find any study or piece of data that might help propel this idea forward faster and actually come up with a hypothesis when creating campaigns for your customers.