In Alpha Rock Capital we follow a series of principles that we consider essential to achieve and maintain success, not only as an organization but also as individuals.
The following is a list of those principles that we consider particularly important. When in doubt, remembering these principles helps us decide what is the correct path to take.
1. Follow the Silver Rule
Do not do unto others as you would not have them do unto you.
The way you treat other people, no matter if they are customers, associates or investors, should always follow this principle, which we consider is the most important of all. If this is not respected, nothing else matters.
2. Be Proactive
Don’t limit yourself to your assigned task, don’t wait until you’re told to do something. Have the initiative to do what you know that should be done. You wouldn’t be part of the company if we didn’t trust in you.
3. Stay Hungry
To live is to keep improving. Stagnation is death. Keep learning, finding ways to be more efficient or productive, exploring new possibilities.
4. Help Others
Help other associates in their jobs. Your feedback is always welcome. By helping each other we are more than the sum of each of us individually.
5. Be Frugal
Every dollar wasted isn’t just one dollar less that the company has. Every dollar wasted shows investors we don’t respect them. Anyone can splurge, the challenge is in being efficient.
6. Use Data
Wishful thinking and arguments from authority are not welcome here. Every statement and every prediction must be based on verifiable data, either historical or on some other reasonable basis.
7. Get Your Hands Dirty
No job is too “low”. You are failing your team and investors when you are not willing to do what needs to be done. Study the lives of John D. Rockefeller, Henry Ford, Sam Walton, Warren Buffett or Jeff Bezos (some of the richest persons in history) and you will see how humble their origins were and how willing they were to help anywhere it was needed.
8. Focus on the Process
Games are won by players who focus on the playing field, not by those whose eyes are glued to the scoreboard.
Results, after a reliable enough sample size, are only useful as a guide. They tell us what we have been doing right and wrong, what needs to be changed. Successful people don’t use results as an excuse to stay complacent or demotivated, but as just a tool to know where to spend our resources.
If our process keeps getting better, extraordinary results are inevitable. If we focus on results, extraordinary results are impossible.
9. Think Long Term
Take always the path that will maximize long-term returns. We are not in a hurry, this is a long-term project.
An associate who doesn’t work to build something great, no matter who owns the company shares, but instead thinks about exit strategies, should exit the company.
Every time someone fails to follow any of these principles, the company is immediately harmed, with consequences being more devastating and enduring than what an initial evaluation would suggest.
It affects culture, as each one of us is an example to everyone else. It gives the impression that said behaviour is tolerated. It won’t take long for others to mimic it and for the most competent individuals to lose their commitment and eventually leave.