What You Do Is Who You Are

What You Do Is Who You Are

With all of my free time thanks to COVID-19, I've been doing a lot of walking and listening to audiobooks. Without my daily commute, I've declared podcast bankruptcy and mostly pivoted to listening to audiobooks on my walk with Rainier.

I just recently finished What You Do Is Who You Are by Ben Horowitz. His book dives into the different facets of company cultures: where they start, where they end, and the ways in which they succeed and fail.

If you don't think too hard about it, this book is really good. There are a lot of nuggets of career wisdom and it got me thinking about the culture within my on team and company.

Horowitz uses characters like Ghengis Khan, Toussaint Louverture, and Shaka Senghor to give readers a better idea of how to run their corporate organizations.

Personally, it felt a little tacky and tone-deaf at times to compare these two things. It felt like Horowitz was intentionally reshaping history to fit his narrative in a way that didn't really respect the reality of those stories.

That all said, I did enjoy listening to the book. Even if some of the case-studies felt a little overzealous they still did their job and it made me think about the cultures that I operate in.

One of the stories that stuck with me most was the concept of Ghengis Khan and inclusion. He was not a religious zealot and as he took over villages (and... slaughtered the elites of those societies ) he welcomed the people of the villages regardless of their religion or minority groups. It was a very interesting example of coalition building, but it definitely stuck with me.