The Startup Chat with Steli and Hiten on Smash Notes

The Startup Chat with Steli and Hiten podcast.

December 31, 2019

Unfiltered insights and actionable advice straight from the trenches of startup and business life. The show hosts, Steli Efti and Hiten Shah, are both serial entrepreneurs who have founded multi-million dollar SaaS startups. Being busy CEOs of fast-growing companies, they know the value of your time and make sure you get the most out of each 22 minute episode. Tune in for new episodes every Tuesday and Friday.

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In this episode, Steli and Hiten tackle the topic of work ethic and how your team needs to be aligned. Having a collective team ethic results in an ability to get things done and establishes a smooth workflow, but misalignments can be disruptive. Listen as Steli and Hiten discuss their own work ethic and where it came from. They also delve into the very reasons why it is worth it for YOU to make sure you and your team’s ethics match!

Time Stamped Show Notes:

00:27 – Today’s episode is inspired by a tweet Hiten posted on Twitter

00:54 – The tweet said, “Your own work ethic and that of the people around you need to match. If they don't, it'll make it harder to get alignment.”

01:00 – This topic has been discussed in past episodes already

02:16 – What triggered Hiten’s post

02:47 – The post came up because Hiten believes in a collective work ethic

03:13 –When your ethics aren’t the same, it’s difficult to figure out how to get things done

03:23 – “Alignment is used as a tool to get more stuff done ”

03:42 – If your work ethic doesn’t match, it doesn’t work

05:37 – Hiten learned his work ethic from his father and mother

05:55 – Ethics may also be a result of value systems

06:14 – When you have a job to do, do you take responsibility for that role?

07:03 – When you screw up as a team member, are you upset about it?

08:08 – Are you proud of the work you put out?

09:13 – Steli shares a story of their new hire in the team

11:43 – Steli’s team is a group of people who are passionate about their work

11:52 – Steli is concerned that his team members are getting overworked

13:18 – Match expectations with reality

14:15 – “As companies get larger, you start seeing their office empty”

15:31 – Work ethic defines your alignment as a team

16:15 – Misalignments cause people to feel pressure and that they have to do less or do more

17:00 – Steli mentions about growing up in the south of Germany where people are hard-working

18:00 – Certain parts of that region had a very different culture and mindset

19:32 – Steli cares a lot more than just relaxing and enjoying life

20:23 – Steli shares another work ethic misalignment story

22:31 – That cultural misalignment made Steli’s life more miserable

23:26 – Steli decided he would do the work he wants without thinking about the clock

24:08 – Compare your own work ethic to your team’s—write it out if you need to

25:37 – Steli shares about needing to work vs. choosing to work

27:36 – Communicate your work ethic to your loved ones

27:47 – That’s it for today’s episode!

3 Key Points:

It’s difficult to move forward without your team being aligned.

How you are perceived can be very different from own your perception of how you’re behaving.

Your team’s alignment depends on each one’s work ethic.

Resources Mentioned:

Hiten’s tweet –


Hiten: Hi, this is Hiten Shah.


Steli: And this is Steli Efti. And in today’s episode of The Startup Chat, we're going to talk about work ethic. And this was inspired by a tweet you posted recently Hiten, that got a lot of responses. And that I thought was super fascinating, something that I’d love to kind of unpack with you on the podcast. Why don’t you – do you have the tweet in front of you? Why don’t you read us the tweet first?


Hiten: Yeah. I'll read the tweet. It got a pretty good response and it was interesting. So this was on December 30th, and what I wrote was, “Your own work ethic and that of the people around you need to match. If they don’t it will make it harder to get alignment.” And I know we've talked about alignment probably quite a bit now,

Key points in this episode

In this episode

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