December 18th, 2015 | by
3 min read

How do you build a culture of continuous improvement that allows you to sustain your winning ways?

The San Antonio Spurs basketball team knows a thing or two about creating a winning culture. With five NBA titles and 16 consecutive seasons with at least 50 victories, the Spurs are one of the most successful franchises in all of professional sports.

So what’s their secret? Spurs coach Gregg Popovich spends a lot of time reminding his players of key principles, like appropriate fear, which basically means you should fear your opponent enough to prepare but not so much that it paralyzes you.

At DiscoverOrg, we also build our team based on core principles and values. We’ve found that when we stick to these principles, we win. When we stray from them, that’s when we get in trouble.

And so far, it’s worked pretty well. DiscoverOrg is growing 50% a year and we envision quadrupling our current size.

So it seemed like a good time to share the values we’ve found most essential for building a winning culture. Who knows, maybe you’ll realize that your values match ours – and you’ll decide to join our growing team. After all, we’re hiring in every department.

Traits of a winning team member

We look for certain characteristics while recruiting and interviewing candidates, and we’ve found they correlate with success.

Employees who excel here embody the following traits:

  • Winning attitude
  • Hard working
  • Competitive
  • Intense
  • Passionate
  • Adaptive
  • Collaborative

Anybody who meets these criteria jumps to the top of our list.

Driven to be the best

We are committed to being the best in the world at what we do.

We openly question the status quo and toss aside anything that prevents progress. We are always testing new ideas in pursuit of game-changing breakthroughs.

We change a lot and we’re constantly challenging ourselves to improve.

We love employees who completely reject self-defeating thoughts like these:

  • “I hate change.”
  • “I avoid trying new things.”
  • “I’m already the best in my field, so there’s nothing left to learn.”
  • “I have no desire to improve my performance from last month, quarter or year.”

We’re blunt. If you do something dumb, you can expect to be called out on it. We’ll never apologize for maintaining high standards.

But we also have short memories, so we don’t hold grudges and we don’t take things personally.

We’re all adults. We appreciate honest feedback and use it to learn and grow.

That doesn’t mean we’re rude or that we tolerate disrespectful or condescending behavior. We value all of our team members and enforce a strict “No Assholes” policy.

This is a safe place to make mistakes. If you never stumble, you’re not pushing yourself hard enough.

As long as you’re working hard, you will find friendly people here who are more than willing to help you improve.

No wasted time and no distractions

The best teams obsess over ROI.

It’s one thing to scrutinize the return on investments in research tools, software, leads, trade shows, etc.

But our most valuable investment is how we spend our time.

Effective employees know how to get results, and they are masters at maximizing their time by focusing their efforts on activities that drive growth and profitability.

You won’t find any arcade rooms, foosball tables or Xboxes at the DiscoverOrg offices.

The meaningful work we do energizes and fulfills us. We don’t need to play video games in the middle of the day. We can always go to the arcade later.

And we just might do that as a group after work. We enjoy getting to know our colleagues. We go to lunch together and celebrate birthdays, weddings,
and newborns.

Building a great company with people you like is more fun than doing it with jerkazoids.

Sound intriguing? Join us

If our mission, vision and culture match your values, we’d love to talk to you about one of DiscoverOrg’s many exciting career opportunities.

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Henry Schuck
About the author

Henry Schuck

Henry Schuck is the CEO of DiscoverOrg, an 8-time Fortune 5000 company, which he co-founded at the age of 23. He has extensive experience managing the sales and marketing activities of fast-growing information technology data companies.