At Bank of Hodlers, we strive to create an open and transparent environment based on our philosophy of ‘freedom and responsibility’. Our core philosophy entails people over processes. When I started the Bank of Hodlers, I had every intention of bringing together a team of high performers.
I wanted to bring together highly motivated and driven individuals who have good judgment that would have a significant impact in terms of effectively delivering on work, with the curiosity to learn at every turn and the courage to contribute outside of their specialty. While having a strong work ethic is required, we wanted to take on individuals who had certain characteristics like being selfless in putting the interest of Bank of Hodlers before their’s or their team’s. It is also important that all the team members act with integrity having candor, authenticity, transparency and directness.
We have an insistence on high performance, but creating an environment full of high performers can be challenging. Unquestionable, we have to hire well while fostering collaboration, supporting the sharing of information, and discouraging politics. In the tension between kindness and honesty, we lean into honesty. No matter how honest though, we treat people with respect.
We feel that loyalty is a great stabilizer. Team members with a strong track record get leeway if their performance takes a temporary dip. Similarly, we ask employees to stick with us through any short term dips. However, we are not about unconditional allegiance to a stagnant firm, or to a merely-adequately-performing employee.
We believe that succeeding in a high-performing dream team is about being effective with your work, and not about working hard. We understand that to be great, most of us have to put in considerable amounts of effort, but hard work is not how we measure contribution.
We don’t like bullies
Some firms have a tolerance for hiring ‘brilliant jerks’, but we are not about that. The value of cost-effective work is significantly high and our view is that brilliant people are also capable of decent human interactions. We want to create an environment of highly capable people working together in a collaborative context where they inspire each other to be more creative, more productive and ultimately, more successful as a team than they could be as individuals.
While some work cultures call for uber-competitive environments resulting in one team succeeding while the other team fails, we aren’t about that. The more talent we have, the more we can achieve, and our people can better assist each other. Internal ‘sink or swim’ behavior is not tolerated. Here at the Bank of Hodlers, the more talent we have, the better our odds are at succeeding.
Hiring is HARD
Having said all of that, we have very high standards when it comes to hiring. We process over 100 applications before onboarding 1 individual. Building a strong team is as important to us as building an effective product for our customers. Hiring is one of the most difficult things to do if you want to create a collaborative, high performing team. We put a lot of importance on who we onboard, as we can’t take on someone who performs well but doesn’t behave well in an environment entailing others. Similarly, we don’t want to hire someone who has a reputation for being a decent human being but cannot perform or deliver.
Being in a high-performance environment is not for everyone and that is OKAY. A lot of people value security very highly, and would prefer to work at companies with orientations towards stability, seniority, and working around inconsistent employee effectiveness. Our model works best for people who highly value consistent excellence in their colleagues.
We’ve pulled together a great team, and work very well together. However, we know that we can do better. We strive to have calm confidence and, yet, yearn to improve.
We want everyone to feel like the Bank of Hodlers is their company - and behave like that.