wtf is culture?
no bs, real talk.
over the past 6 months, we have been rapidly growing our team at leap.club. 1500+ cold emails, 4000+ applications, countless linkedin messages later, we have some interesting answers to why people want to build with us. our mission - more women in leadership positions - and the intent to join a high-growth startup are typically the top 2 reasons we get (no surprises here). we also hear a lot that we seem like we have a great culture and are a ‘cool’ workplace. now, we love compliments as much as the next person and while we can end this with a thank you, we thought it's about time we talked more about the real deal too.
first things first, culture and cool are different things. in our world, culture is not the feel-good factor that comes with swanky offices, foosball tables and unlimited leaves. it isn't an ‘hr problem’ to solve. it’s a shared code that gets things done. it’s how we treat our colleagues, members, partners and even ourselves when we’re at work. it’s people p&l.
it’s also ever-evolving - our culture began to take shape on the day we hired our first employee, aanchal (ex-zomato, uber) back in 2020. it continues to be shaped while we’re hiring our latest one, dravisha (your friendly neighbourhood social media ninja). this does not mean we always get it right, we make our fair share of mistakes but always try to be honest early on where there isn’t a mutual fit.
while culture is tough to crack and keeps a lot of leaders/ founders up at night, there’s no one solution to do this right. netflix does it by sticking to an exhaustive, yet simple playbook. apple does it by offering unparalleled collaborative innovation. but the common denominator of all great companies is to build it with purpose and not let it happen incidentally or accidentally.
our purpose is to forge culture to be the moat that sets us up for success. this means that we strive to function as a sports team (not ‘family’), and are aligned on what makes leap win (and keep that first before any individual). we truly believe this to be the strongest driver for our mission and our business goals.
we do what we do by ensuring we -
dream insanely big and relentlessly show up every day
never hesitate to be extraordinarily honest with each other
value end-to-end ownership and resourcefulness in everything we do (and expect nothing lesser)
always choose progress over process; people over positions; hard workers >>
be growth-driven for the mission, the business goals, and the team
these larger principles help us be a team that brings our whole selves to work. it doesn’t matter if you’re a hugger, an introvert, a night owl or even new to startups (shudder!). as long as you’re not a brilliant jerk – we strive our hardest to deliver on the best growth for our team and promise the ride of a lifetime.
from the horses’ mouth, ft. unedited excerpts of what our team described the culture as while we were researching for this blog -
“not being scared of anyone; keeping your boss happy is not the ultimate goal for us”, says denise moraes, senior associate on our community team
“know that you’ll never be the smartest person in the room always, and believe that’s good for you”, says karishma ahuja, senior manager at the founders’ office
“the ability to bring my most authentic self to work every day; my team has seen me laugh, cry & ugly cry. we accomplish big goals together and never pretend to be/feel something we are not”, says kritika sudesh, senior manager (and soon to be avp) on our member onboarding team
“when asked if we’re performance-driven or people-driven, i like to say that we’re a growth-driven culture; always putting leap and the team’s growth first in the decisions we make every day”, says our co-founder anand sinha
all said and done, it’s always day 1 for us. everything we do today can be improved because we suck compared to how great we want to become. so while we continue to work towards building a multi-unicorn that will change the game for women in leadership positions – if you read this and thought this sounds like you or want to know more about the team, you should check our careers page!
– sindhuja guda
founding team, leap.club