TAGFEE is a very powerful guiding principal from Rand at SEOmoz:

T: Transparent
A: Authentic
G: Generous
F: Fun
E: Empathetic
E: Exceptional

I think the thing I underestimated the most when building Infinity Softworks in the early 2000s was how much thought needed to go into the company itself. When working with more than one person, serious thought needs to go into what kind of organization it needs to be, what will be the guiding principals, etc. And then it is even more work to keep enforcing those.

Back then I just hired and figured it would sort itself out. Now I realize that good company culture is planned as strongly as the product.

(Thanks to Brad Feld for the link.)

2 thoughts on “TAGFEE

  1. Hi Elia,

    Unfortunately, you can set any guidelines or principals down that you want. However, the rule that holds is “your people will be as you be” – Gabriel Acosta-Mikulasek. This is a reality I have encountered in teams I have built and teams I have been a part of. The team tends to adopt the behavior of the leader of the team (which, BTW, is not necessarily the “manager”.)

    To have a team follow TAGFEE, you must “be” that way. And you must establish yourself as the leader. You must gain the teams trust. There are practices to do this, but that is more space than this reply allows.

    And in a larger company, even a leader in a team can be overwhelmed by the culture, the being, of the company. If a team tries to have one way of being, and the company has a being that conflicts, the team or leader will get moved out (much like white blood cells protect the body, the company culture will move through individuals and events to push the “invading” leader out.)

    Something to chew on. Perhaps I should be blogging too 🙂


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