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Stephen Lease &
Ben Abell

We are very excited to have the founders of goodr on this week’s episode of Conquer The Noise. Jonathan speaks with Stephen Lease and Ben Abell, who have known each other since high school. The conversation opens around partnerships. Both goodr and Unconquered were founded by co-founders and they talk about strategies to keep the relationships strong, how to work through hardship and the importance of complementary skill sets.

As the conversation progresses, a big theme emerges for this episode, centered around culture. They talked about creating a strong company culture, hiring and keeping employees engaged. As an organization, goodr does not use email and prefers to use Slack to keep communication open. “It’s about transparency. It hinges around stopping 1/1 conversations that don’t need to happen,” said Lease. 

Early on, they started a monthly book club (Read Goodr) and one of the first things read was, Let My People Go Surfing by Yvon Chouinard of Patagonia. They talk about how it was very inspirational to see a billion dollar company bucking the trend of sacrificing values in order to grow bigger. They learned it’s not a zero sum game and it proved you can maintain who you are and make a lot of money.

Ben and Stephen talk about the importance of quarterly reviews over yearly reviews. They reveal they are really big on feedback and deprogramming the corporate mindset people have developed from previous jobs. People aren’t used to giving or receiving feedback and the need to learn how to do that. They believe people who end up at goodr want to do good work.

Stephen recommended reading Daniel Pink’s book, Drive, to learn about the 3 things that motivate people – autonomy, mastery and purpose (doing something bigger than yourself). Leaving people better than they arrived is the dream behind AMP and something the goodr team works for. “There are a ton of jobs you’re meant to tread water at. I can’t imagine the upward mobility of a worker at amazon is great at all. No matter what your job is, we want there to be a chance to get better at something,” said, Stephen. A good outcome is if someone leaves goodr for a better job.

The company culture extends to making sure the team is happy and healthy through a color coded system that allows employees to display how they are feeling each week through a red, yellow or green notification. If it is strictly related to goodr team, a team leader connects with you and if it’s connected to life in general, they have a person on staff (Chief Relationship officer).

You can listen to goodr’s podcast, Culture Goodr, via their website as well as Spotify and iTunes.