Ben Horowitz’s book “What You Do is Who You Are” is coming out tomorrow, and I’m looking forward to reading it. From his recent Fast Company article:
I tried to show a couple of things in the book that I thought were important. Toussaint used ethics as a way to elevate the culture, to [build] common trust, common understanding, common principles. He ran an army that was much more ethical than the British, French, or Spanish armies. This is a guy who was a slave, [but] who had great support from the white women in Haiti for his efforts because he had such high ethical standards for soldiers.
It was that ethical standard actually that led to the discipline that the army had that made it such an effective fighting force. I want to get that point across so that people would really understand the value of ethics beyond just needing to be a good person. Then the second part of it was, how do you actually implement that? How do you make it explicit? And how do you make it a priority even if it conflicts with your other priorities, which ethics often does. I wanted to get across that being ethical can be a strength.
There’s also a short podcast episode with Twenty Minute VC where he talks about the book. I’ll be writing some notes about the book when it’s released, and I’m looking forward to seeing how it extends my mental model for company building.