UPWARD
Because Time is Valuable

No Asshole Policy

Time is our most valuable asset and nobody should choose to give their time to assholes.

↳ What is this policy and why does it exist

You know those inspirational posters that hang on the off-white walls in unremarkable offices around the globe offering an insulting combination of inspirational photo of some generic person along with an uninspiring quote aimed at keeping employees moving towards the corporate goal(s)?

Yeah, this isn’t that. This policy is born from wisdom earned in working with a broad spectrum of people from all walks of life on a variety of projects ranging from the exciting to the monotonous. Ultimately, it all comes down to time. Time is the single resource that is doled out in equal measure to each of us regardless of station, gender, creed, or social status.It is also the one resource that we can never get more of no matter how badly we want it or how much money we have. We believe time has greater value than money.

With that in mind, this policy exists to serve as a ever-present"north star" to help the team at UPWARD keep focus on what's really important in both our professional and personal pursuits. Given we only have so much to spend in life we consciously and intentionally make the choice to not spend any of that precious time working with assholes. Our people are not objects to be exploited and leveraged for personal gain. Our people are valuable, interesting, talented, and unique human beings that we want to work with because we like them, and we believe they like us too.

↳ Hallmarks of an Asshole

So, what is an Asshole? There's quite a bit that can be written about this, but we try to distill it down to something reasonable and basic. An Asshole is a self-centered individual who thinks that winning is a zero-sum game, in which others are not regarded as humans with worth and respect, but instead as objects to be used as part of a cold calculating process that results in personal gain.

How Can You Spot an Asshole?

How do you know when you're dealing with an asshole rather than someone simply having a bad day? We look at repetition of behavior. Is this person consistently choosing to act this way? People are responsible for their actions and choices, and being an Asshole is a choice.If you can answer "yes" to any of the following questions then you're likely dealing with an asshole, and you need to call it out and move along, not giving them any more of your time.

  • Does this person harm others to get what they want?
  • Does this person consistently leave you feeling depleted,discouraged, and/or demoralized?
  • Do they exhibit behavior that causes you or others to dread or fear interacting with them?
  • Do they make you feel belittled, unimportant, or invisible?
  • Do they take credit for your ideas?
  • Do they withhold information that you need to do your job?
  • Does your gut tell you they are an asshole?

↳ Eff the Ivory Tower

We are not perfect. Far from it in fact! We believe that we are imperfect, and that we fail constantly. However, we want to be better. We want to be better for ourselves, and better for others. That is our choice. Weare imperfect people in pursuit not of perfection but of excellence. So, this policy is not a framework for setting up a contrived moral high ground where we can build an ivory tower serving that serves as the perfect vantage point to look down our noses at others and launch hurtful attacks. F that!

"If someone is an asshole, they're an asshole, if everyone is an asshole, you're the asshole" - no clue who

↳ Being Direct vs. Being an Asshole

Don’t confuse the situation. Being direct is not the same as being an asshole. Colleagues and customers should not have to sugar coat what they are saying to get a message across. We are adults, and professionals who should be able to directly communicate with one another in a way that is clear,concise, and respectful. “Calling the thing what the thing is” is deeply important as it’s often closely associated with truth. It takes courage, trust,and mutual respect to have this relationship and it’s a pursuit we deem as worthy.

↳ Being Direct vs. Being an Asshole

Don’t confuse the situation. Being direct is not the same as being an asshole. Colleagues and customers should not have to sugar coat what they are saying to get a message across. We are adults, and professionals who should be able to directly communicate with one another in a way that is clear,concise, and respectful. “Calling the thing what the thing is” is deeply important as it’s often closely associated with truth. It takes courage, trust,and mutual respect to have this relationship and it’s a pursuit we deem as worthy.

↳ What We Want

So, what do we want to do with our time given we know we don't want to spend it working with assholes? Simple. We want to work with good people on meaningful projects.We're really good at what we do. We've worked hard to get proficient in our respective crafts, and we want to apply our time, talents,and craft collaborating with good people on projects that matter. Again, we only have so much time, and we decide to extract all that we can out of it inpursuit of a rich life full of passion and purpose.