Leading with Transparency with Sid Sijbrandij and Rebecca Blumenstein
This week, we speak with two leaders who have unique perspectives on transparency in the workplace. Listen wherever you get your podcasts.
As a leader, transparency can be a tricky topic to navigate. It’s often framed as an end-goal -- an inherent good that all leaders should aspire to -- but full transparency just isn't possible in most industries. So, how should leaders think about transparency in the workplace? How can they use it to motivate and inspire their teams? When should they share, and why?
In this episode, host Gautam Mukunda speaks with GitLab’s co-founder and CEO Sid Sijbrandij and the Deputy Managing Editor of the New York Times Rebecca Blumenstein about how being intentional with transparency can result in authenticity, honesty and openness in workplace culture.
Companies that are more forthcoming about their challenges and their problems generally fare much better.Rebecca Blumenstein
What’s really important is that we’re transparent by default. So, things are public by default unless we have a good reason not to do that.Sid Sijbrandij
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Guest Information for Leading with Transparency:
Sid Sijbrandij (pronounced see-brandy) is the Co-founder, Chief Executive Officer and Board Chair of GitLab Inc., the DevOps platform. GitLab’s single application helps organizations deliver software faster and more efficiently while strengthening their security and compliance.
Sid’s career path has been anything but traditional. He spent four years building recreational submarines for U-Boat Worx and while at Ministerie van Justitie en Veiligheid he worked on the Legis project, which developed several innovative web applications to aid lawmaking. He first saw Ruby code in 2007 and loved it so much that he taught himself how to program. In 2012, as a Ruby programmer, he encountered GitLab and discovered his passion for open source. Soon after, Sid commercialized GitLab, and by 2015 he led the company through Y Combinator’s Winter 2015 batch. Under his leadership, the company has grown with an estimated 30 million+ registered users from startups to global enterprises.
Sid studied at the University of Twente in the Netherlands where he received an M.S. in Management Science. Sid was named one of the greatest minds of the pandemic by Forbes for spreading the gospel of remote work.
Rebecca Blumenstein was named deputy editor, Publisher’s Office in February 2021. In her role, she works closely with New York Times Publisher A.G. Sulzberger to support our rapidly growing journalism operations.
Ms. Blumenstein has served as deputy managing editor of The New York Times since February 2017. She led an expansion and elevation of our Business report and ensured The Times remained an essential destination for live coverage and breaking news.
Prior to joining The Times, she was deputy editor in chief of The Wall Street Journal. Before that, she was the Page One Editor, appointed in September 2011, and a deputy managing editor and international editor since December 2009. Ms. Blumenstein has also served as managing editor of The Wall Street Journal Online and as the China bureau chief, overseeing China coverage for the Journal.
Until 2005, Ms. Blumenstein served as chief of the Journal’s New York Technology Group. Ms. Blumenstein joined the Journal in 1995 as a reporter in the Detroit bureau, where she covered General Motors. She began her journalism career at The Tampa Tribune, and then later moved to Gannett Newspapers and Newsday, where she covered breaking news and the New York State legislature.
She received a 1993 New York Newswomen’s Award for best deadline writing for her coverage of the aftermath of the Long Island Railroad shootings. In 2003, she was part of a team that won the Gerald Loeb Award for deadline writing for coverage of WorldCom. She oversaw the China team that won the Pulitzer Prize for International Reporting in 2007. She was named to the Aspen Institute's Henry Crown Fellowship for 2009.
In 2011, Ms. Blumenstein co-founded and moderated the Journal’s Women in the Economy task force, a data-driven, annual examination of the progress of women in the workplace that continues to this day and now includes hundreds of companies.
Ms. Blumenstein holds a bachelor’s degree in economics and social science from the University of Michigan, where she was editor in chief of the Michigan Daily. Her husband, Alan Paul, is a magazine writer and author of “Big in China,” a book about her family’s adjustment to China and “One Way Out: The Inside History of the Allman Brothers Band” and “Texas Flood: The Inside Story of Stevie Ray Vaughan.”
Speaker 1 (00:00):
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Gautam Mukunda (00:16):
What does your team need to know? And as a leader, how do you decide?
Rebecca Blumenstein (00:22):
We just don't do positive stories. We don't do negative stories. We do stories. And stories are always much better when they have facts.
Sid Sijbrandij (00:30):
It's hard to give negative feedback and the bigger the group becomes, the harder it is to do that.
Rebecca Blumenstein (00:35):
One of the forms of accountability that we have, of course, is competition.
Speaker 5 (00:40):
World Reimagined with Gautam Mukunda; A leadership podcast for a changing world. An original podcast from NASDAQ.
Sid Sijbrandij (00:48):
The worst thing for a company would be if you don't get criticized anymore. It's not because you're not doing anything wrong, it's because people don't care about you anymore.
Gautam Mukunda (01:06):
11th floor, please. From the outside, this room at the New York Hilton looks like any other. Nondescript, anonymous. It could house a sales executive from Chicago or a family visiting relatives from Florida. Or it could be completely empty. But on this particular day in April 1971, well a team from the New York Times has been holed up here for weeks, reading, rereading, and making sense of the 7000 xeroxed copies that will eventually be known as the Pentagon Papers.
Gautam Mukunda (01:51):
In March, Neil Sheehan, a Defense Department correspondent for the Times, made contact with a source who could prove the US government was expanding the war in Vietnam despite repeated assertions to the contrary. Now, a small group of reporters has made camp in room 1111, some even living here 24/7, working in absolute secret to bring this story to light.
Gautam Mukunda (02:16):
Two months from now, the Pentagon Papers will result in a landmark supreme court ruling against preemptive government censorship. To this day, that case and the reporting behind it are cited in debates over what the citizens of a democracy deserve to know. But for the leaders working in newsrooms and offices and hotels today, the question remains, what can you be transparent about and what should you be?
Rebecca Blumenstein (02:41):
When you look at our mission, transparency is actually just at the core of it. It's seeking truth, helping people understand the world in a way that holds power to account, in a way that's independent and truly impartial.
Gautam Mukunda (02:54):
Rebecca Blumenstein is the Deputy Managing Editor of the New York Times. She's a steward of the legacy that played out in the New York Hilton 50 years ago, one that takes that which is hidden, be it government secrets or powerful predators, and brings it into the light.
Rebecca Blumenstein (03:11):
You remember the #MeToo Series, the Harvey Weinstein investigation that unleashed the whole #MeToo Movement. We held out for months. It's a story I can recount in some detail but until we were able to get an actress or two on the record which made all of the difference in the world. And our two reporters, Megan Twohey and Jodi Kantor traversed the country. Knocking on doors, trying to go into yoga classes. Trying to do anything to really develop the relationships that lead to a breakthrough moment when Ashley Judd went on the record. And so we are cognizant of transparency to our readers, to the service of the story, and to the power of our journalism. And it's something that guides us every day.
Gautam Mukunda (03:56):
Thomas Jefferson once said that given the choice between a government without newspapers or a newspapers without a government, he wouldn't hesitate a moment to prefer the latter. It's the job of journalists to take that which is opaque about government, business, even sports, and make it transparent to their readers.
Gautam Mukunda (04:13):
But journalism isn't the only industry dedicated to the value of transparency. If you've ever used Linux or any other type of open source code, it's success depends on transparency too. Open source code is free and accessible to the public. So anyone can access, modify, and distribute it as they see fit. It's transparent by design and this principle of community involvement is something Sid Sijbrandij has built his career on.
Sid Sijbrandij (04:42):
We run a software company and it's a so-called open-core company. So part of our code is open source and there's a wider community around it. And actually, the project came first and our community came first and then the company only started a year later. So to us, it was really important as we built a company that the wider community didn't feel alienated by this company come and barging in and starting to help. And that's when we said, "Okay, we're going to be very transparent with that wider community."
Sid Sijbrandij (05:11):
Later on, it evolved into a way to connect people to the company. It helped with our talent brand and retention. It made us more effective. And it evolved to the part where today, it also helps connecting with customers, inspiring them but also giving them more visibility in what we're doing and allowing them to help us, to correct us. So it evolved over time why we did it. And as it evolved, it became more core to what we do and it became more of a helpful thing, more of a tailwind.
Gautam Mukunda (05:49):
Today, Sid is the CEO of Gitlab Incorporated, a company that takes transparency so seriously, its published a list of the biggest flaws their chief executive, Sid, brings to the workplace. It's eight items long so far, but Gitlab employees are actively encouraged to contribute new ones. But in the world of tech where secrecy is often the coin of the realm, what does Sid and Gitlab gain from being so open? And when we talk about transparency both in business and journalism, how far is too far?
Sid Sijbrandij (06:25):
I think there's lots of reasons to not be transparent. And I think as a company, we have the longest list of things that we're not public about and luckily we are transparent about that. You can find that list and I think it includes like 17 items by now. So there's a ton of reasons. But what's really important is that we're transparent by default. So things are public by default unless we have a good reason not to do that. And that's been really helpful that we are intentional when we're not transparent and even with that long list, we still end up with a lot more transparency than any other public company I know of.
Rebecca Blumenstein (07:01):
Sid, that resonates a lot with me and certainly the notion of being deliberate when you're not being transparent. Something that also jumped out is how you feel like this is connecting you better to your customers. I would say that for us, those are our readers and we have tried in many ways to bring readers in to let them know who's writing the story. We have reporter bios at the end of it. We have reader comments. We have a trust mission that's looking for different ways to engage with readers. We have standards. We also have stories sometimes about the story. Dean Baquet wrote a note about the Trump taxes investigation and why we did what we did. We are finding that there's a lot of interest among our customers, our readers, and the broader public, about how we work and how we make our decisions.
Sid Sijbrandij (07:49):
In that sense, it's maybe becoming more like sports where people are a fan of the team. You're bringing a team of professionals to the field but they also have individual branding and people become a fan of the sports team.
Rebecca Blumenstein (08:03):
Yes. Although, I must say that not everyone out there is a fan. But we certainly are closely watched and we really do try to listen to them all.
Gautam Mukunda (08:13):
Otto von Bismarck is credited, probably [inaudible 00:08:16], with saying that one should never see how laws or sausages are made. In other words, for as much as we may say and genuinely believe that we want transparency and openness in all facets of our public life, there are instances where knowing how something came together isn't in our best interest and will in fact actively undermine it's effectiveness. Everyone, even most reporters, agrees that the details of Military operations should be kept secret while troops are in danger. Beyond that however, many negotiations experts argue that deal-making is sometimes more effective when it takes place in secret. This allows negotiators to take positions in private that they never could in public. So transparency, however valuable, might not always be in the public interest.
Sid Sijbrandij (09:04):
First of all, it's not extreme transparency. We're very deliberate about it. So if we need to make a sausage and we have a good reason to do that, we can do that.
Sid Sijbrandij (09:14):
The second thing is, it's been such a tailwind for us. Think of what's hardest in business. The hardest thing is to get all the people within the company to align with each other and with the customers. By opening up more than you typically do, that goes a lot better. We have a [inaudible 00:09:34] value at Gitlab which is short toes. You should allow other people to give you suggestions on how you should run your part of the organization. It doesn't mean you have to listen to people, but it's okay for them to have an opinion. Also, if you break down a lot, the ability to change is much bigger because every change can happen with the context that's needed.
Sid Sijbrandij (09:56):
And the third thing is that I don't think transparency is ... It's a value of us and like any value at a company, it's not necessarily wrong or right. It's just part of your identity. Two of our most prominent values are transparency and iteration. If you take the opposite of that, it would be secrecy and big launches. You'd have a company like Apple which is much more successful than us. So it's not that our values are better, it's just who we are and you can opt into that or not.
Rebecca Blumenstein (10:25):
And I think the way that that resonates with us is certainly the compromises, in a sense, and the decisions we have to make every day in terms of the news. I just mentioned the #MeToo Movement and really pushing hard for people to go on the record there, the accusers to go on the record. There are many stories where that's simply not possible. If we, for example, are doing a story about the Military, there's next to no way that we can identify an official in the Pentagon by name.
Rebecca Blumenstein (10:52):
What's interesting lately is that we're using different kinds of mediums to help us provide transparency. In a recent investigation we did soon after Kabul fell, a drone investigation, we actually used video that our video investigations team spent days and weeks analyzing that tracked the movement of the person who was killed and realized that he was an aid worker and not a Taliban member and that 10 people had been innocently killed as well. And so we're finding ways to give transparency to almost cobble together all of the different media that's out there to actually produce a single report.
Rebecca Blumenstein (11:32):
The same happened with our video investigation into January 6th which honestly used thousands of different feeds from a very covered event. It was out there, it was before our eyes. But the power of using what's out there and distilling it into a report, a definitive account of what happened that day and the riot, is very powerful. So that's how we balance all of these things and try as much as possible to give that transparency and even seeking a role, the video in particular, to lend new visibility to things that may have been before us but are almost undiscovered. The very nature of the mission of journalism is to shine a light in places that are dark. And I think that encapsulates a lot of what Sid is talking about.
Gautam Mukunda (12:21):
As a leader, especially in business, your customers expect a certain level of transparency. People, after all, at least want to know the ingredients in their bratwurst. But what about your team? How open can you be with them? And how open should you be?
Rebecca Blumenstein (12:38):
One area where we've struggled with this a bit is investigations of conduct, internal investigations of conduct. And one thing that we've done, we spent a lot of time in doing, is making sure we have a process and consistent process that is used whenever there is a serious allegation of misconduct. And these are very tough decisions, as you say. The empathy required, there's a consistent set of decision-makers. We make sure it's a diverse panel. This doesn't happen that often, hopefully, but I've been struck at the end of the day when a decision is made and often becomes public, there are many, many people who want to know every detail of that investigation. And I think it's really important to protect the privacy of the person who made the complaint and also to honor the investigative process to not tell the entire newsroom that we're sharing every single detail.
Rebecca Blumenstein (13:31):
At some point in some of these sensitive personnel things, I think there has to be some confidence that management and the group of decision-makers who are fair and have really given thought to a difficult decision, have made a decision and not every detail can be shared. Is that something that you would abide by or would you go further?
Sid Sijbrandij (13:50):
I totally agree that has to be confidential. And for us, performance improvement plans, disciplinary actions, but also individual team member feedback is limited. And we say negative feedback is one to one. It doesn't mean that we don't criticize how we're doing on an initiative level or a department level. If it's negative feedback about one person, we try to keep the group as limited as possible for different reasons.
Sid Sijbrandij (14:24):
First of all, it's hard to give negative feedback and the bigger the group becomes, the harder it is to do that. It's super essential for the company to improve and for individuals to improve that the feedback is shared. So we want to make it as easy as possible. The second reason is, sometimes people overcome the negative feedback and you don't want that to stick to them. And there's always great interest. Like if someone goes, you're always interested, okay, did that person leave voluntarily? Was it suggested they leave? Did they get terminated? And we stressed again and again, look, that's between the manager and someone. As a manager, you should care about that but you shouldn't have to worry about the performance of your peers. So for those reasons, we don't publicly share or not even within the team if someone has negative feedback.
Rebecca Blumenstein (15:15):
Well that's super interesting. And do you get employees who want to know more? You must. Or do they just know that that's the rule of the road?
Sid Sijbrandij (15:22):
Yeah, sometimes they ask and then we explain and over time that hopefully helps. We do try to give more context if it's a higher up and support. And as a culture of leading a significant part of the organization, if there's a leadership change there, you do want to make sure that people come to correct conclusions. But even then, we still try to keep it positive and people also go on to have a next career. And most of the people who leave Gitlab have bigger titles after that. We're a highly sought after employer. Other organizations try to recruit from us. So you want to set people up for success and people should know that they don't have to defend their brand and reputation. The company has their interest in mind before and after employment.
Speaker 5 (16:11):
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Gautam Mukunda (16:55):
Ethan Bernstein, an Associate Professor at Harvard Business School, conducted groundbreaking research that showed privacy can actually be crucial for innovation. He did his experiments at a factory in China where he found that simply putting up curtains around an assembly line, curtains that prevented supervisors from seeing what the workers were doing, dramatically improved productivity. This seems to fly in the face of common wisdom. After all, when the cat's away the mice will play, right? So why did productivity improve? Because the workers who weren't being constantly observed felt that they had the freedom to experiment with how they were doing their job and quickly found new and better ways to get things done. In other words, they innovated, secure in the knowledge that they could experiment without being watched.
Gautam Mukunda (17:47):
So are Bernstein's findings, coupled with the things that Sid and Rebecca simply can't be open about an argument against transparency? Or rather do they point towards approaching this value thoughtfully and knowing exactly where the limits are of how open you can be?
Rebecca Blumenstein (18:03):
We can't be fully transparent on everything but we're really trying hard. One example is DEI. We've set some very aggressive goals for our organization and we're doing the hard work of trying to meet them. And it is hard work. It's across the whole organization, business and news. And it's obviously a tough talent environment. We are one of the only US news organizations that publishes our diversity statistics and we break them down by race and they're revealing. We're doing okay, we still have a long way to go.
Rebecca Blumenstein (18:40):
But yet, I think we've gained credibility with our employees by being committed to publishing them, by actually creating a new area of the newsroom called Career and Cultures where we're trying to do the daily hard work of retaining people, recruiting people, convincing them that the Times is a great place to grow your career. Helping our people move to different opportunities. And so we're trying to be deliberate and transparent about this even when the news isn't always entirely rosy or positive. I strongly believe that that's the way you gain credibility with your employees is not only the polished good news of an announcement but when you're really blunt and frank about the challenges that all of us face in order to create a diverse and equitable workplace that we're all very proud of.
Gautam Mukunda (19:32):
So Sid, to me, you have pushed further on this than just about anybody in the corporate world as you just said, I think with great pride, that you guys are more transparent than almost anybody. What's the advice you would give to Rebecca or to other leaders who are trying to learn from what you've done on being so transparent?
Sid Sijbrandij (19:47):
Yeah. Every company is different. I think the drawbacks were much fewer than we anticipated. So it's been easier than we thought. It really helps people align and it helps them to get bought into the strategy of the company. For example, our quarterly goals, the so-called OKRs, we share them with the entire company and with the world. I think it's very strange that sometimes you join a company and only then they tell you the strategy and they say, "You have to be committed to this strategy." Well you didn't give me a choice. You didn't even communicate the strategy before I made the decision to join so how can you expect buy-in? I think it's very powerful to give the people the chance to opt in or out before they join.
Sid Sijbrandij (20:34):
And one of the most powerful things we've done is the CEO Shadow program. Sometimes you have a little bit of sausage-making and while you can't share that with the entire company, if people keep things confidential, you can invite people from within the company to look at that process for two weeks. And it's been a great way to share with people how we do decision-making and it's created a lot of empathy for the sausage-making process.
Gautam Mukunda (21:04):
Often when transparency gets talked about, it's framed as an end-goal. An inherent good that all leaders should aspire to. But full transparency like that isn't possible. Not in tech, not in journalism, not anywhere. And looking at it as a finish line to cross isn't just unproductive, it's unsustainable. So perhaps instead of thinking about transparency as an objective, we should view it as a tool. Just one of many people can use to motivate and inspire their teams. And since workplaces tend to be less open than they should, imagine what would happen if that tool became the default and leaders started thinking about transparency in terms of what it could achieve.
Rebecca Blumenstein (21:46):
I've always said that I think companies that are more forthcoming about their challenges and their problems generally fare much better. The companies that talk to the press. The companies that actually bring reporters in and try to develop a relationship with them and give them the context of the broader environment and the decisions they're making, are almost always going to do better.
Gautam Mukunda (22:08):
So I found that to be very illuminating. Sid, let me ask you. When you get someone who asks you those tough questions, are there times where you interpret that as a positive? Does that help you get better as a leader?
Sid Sijbrandij (22:18):
I think most of the time, some people ask tough questions, it's because they care. I hang out on a website called Hacker News a lot. And most of the time when people criticize Gitlab, it's because they're rooting for us. They want us to get better. They keep being so annoyed at this thing we got wrong, I think the worst thing for a company would be if you don't get criticized anymore because I think it's because you're not doing anything wrong. It's because people don't care about you anymore.
Gautam Mukunda (22:49):
Journalism is important, really important. Research by [inaudible 00:22:54], Chung Lee, and Dermot Murphy shows that after a local newspaper closer, municipal borrowing costs in the area go up by five to eleven basis points. This costs an average of $650,000 extra per bond issuance. And according to the research, that isn't a coincidence. The closure of a newspaper actually causes the quality of governance to go down. There is certainly an argument to be made that these cities and towns fare better because journalistic oversight holds public figures to account.
Gautam Mukunda (23:27):
But there may be something else at work too, as Rebecca suggests. Perhaps when community leaders are comfortable being transparent about their struggles, their values, and their goals, the entire community benefits.
Rebecca Blumenstein (23:39):
I would say over my career, I've really learned that employees in terms of that second and third layer, really appreciate when you bring them into some of the challenges that you're facing. And the best moments of my career have been when you have a team and you have a mission and you're all going for it together. And I think that most anyone who shows up at the New York Times or most places will give 85, I'd say 95% effort, right? And they're professionals. They're really good at what they do. But it's those rare moments when you get 110%, 120%, 150%. And that's absolutely going to happen when employees feel that they are part of something bigger than them and they want to do whatever they can at the highest level that they can to contribute to it.
Rebecca Blumenstein (24:30):
And I think most likely when they have a leader who recognizes that some employees are really good at this and some are maybe stronger at other, but it's playing to their strengths and not their weaknesses and is watching out for them. And when you get those ingredients right, and I think part of it is as a leader, basically saying, "Oh my God, I don't know what to do here. What do you think?" Being authentic and expressing some of the challenges and frustrations, I think can really engender a loyalty and the ability of oh my gosh, that's a thing we never thought we could achieve and we've done it. And I think you almost have to have a feeling of something bigger than you to reach that.
Gautam Mukunda (25:11):
On July 17th, 1969, 43 pages into its coverage of Apollo 11's historic launch from Cape Canaveral, the New York Times ran the following under the headline, A Correction:
Gautam Mukunda (25:24):
"On January 13th, 1920, Topics of the Times, an editorial page feature of the New York Times dismissed the notion that a rocket could function in a vacuum." After a brief note from their earlier article which offhandedly poo-pooed the work of a pioneering rocket scientist, Robert H. Goddard, the 141-word feature concludes, "Further investigation and experimentation have confirmed the findings of Isaac Newton in the 17th century and it is now definitely established that a rocket can function in a vacuum as well as an atmosphere. The Times regrets the error."
Gautam Mukunda (26:01):
Objectively, this is very funny and is still arguably the greatest correction of all time. But it also points to a willingness to be open. Not only about success, but about failures and mistakes. About the things that didn't go right the first time. That's the kind of transparency that builds trust. Not just with your customers, but with your team. It displays a vulnerability that says, "Hey, I'm human just like you and I'm not promising to be perfect. But I am promising to care."
Gautam Mukunda (26:34):
Those are certainly values Sid and Rebecca hold dear so I wanted to know who in their careers had let them in like that? Who had most impressed them and why?
Rebecca Blumenstein (26:45):
I would say that, and it's not one person, but I in recent months have played a pretty big role in the evacuation of our Afghan journalists from Kabul. We were able to get 210 of them out. And very, very fortunate to be able to do that. And a group of 124 of them are in Houston and others are in Mexico and are eventually making their way to Canada.
Rebecca Blumenstein (27:11):
There is a reporter, Fahim Abed, who is ... Our group came under siege at the airport. They've been through so much as so many Afghans have. And it's just the experience I think we've all had of people who have been through crisis who are so articulate. And both Fahim and the bravery of our people, they literally formed a circle around the kids as they were being attacked by the Taliban is so inspiring to me. And when he finally got to Houston, Fahim stood up and said, "As hard as this is, this is all about the women and the girls and the lives and the better lives that they will have here." I've actually been getting to know the women a little bit better in my trips there and they don't speak the language quite yet but the bravery is just staggering to me and completely inspiring.
Gautam Mukunda (28:03):
Oh my goodness. Thank you for that. And Sid?
Sid Sijbrandij (28:06):
Yeah, there's a lot of people being very, very brave and the war in Ukraine is on top of all of our minds. People doing small things and big things. I just called my parents this morning and they took five refugees into their own house and I thought well there's people doing very courageous things. I thought that was amazing of them to do.
Rebecca Blumenstein (28:31):
Sid Sijbrandij (28:32):
There's so many people who inspire you throughout your career. I think the first manager I had at Proctor & Gamble, [inaudible 00:28:41], left a big impression. Our lead independent board member, Godfrey Sullivan, Sue Bostrom, another board member. But also other entrepreneurs and I'm thinking of Freddy Vega of a company called Platzi. And Platzi makes courses to learn how to become a better programmer for the South American market. And he does a great job of inspiring people to improve their career trajectory. And they do it in a way that's super affordable to people. And they just have tons and tons of people who took those courses and created a better career for themselves and really upped their income and it's ... I love at Gitlab, we're about everyone can contribute but there's so many people who are on the sidelines for whom following a few courses can have a material impact. I think those stories are always close to my heart.
Gautam Mukunda (29:37):
Let's go back to the New York Times newsroom. Only a few months later in June of 1971.
Gautam Mukunda (29:44):
The news has just come down that the Supreme Court has allowed the publication of the Pentagon Papers. The precedent has been reaffirmed that the government of the United States of America must respect the freedom of the press however inconvenient it is for the powers that be.
Gautam Mukunda (30:04):
The jubilation in New York is palpable. Some people are celebrating so enthusiastically that the general counsel for the New York Times later described them as two-year-olds who just won the Kentucky Derby. They're celebrating their own victory, yes. But even more, they're celebrating a victory for all of us, a victory for transparency. Not just because transparency's important in and of itself, but because they believe transparency will lead to better government. That exposing the web of lies surrounding the Vietnam War will help it end sooner. Transparency matters. In government and in business, transparency used properly brings with it better performance. That doesn't mean that every minute of a leader's life should be scrutinized but it does mean that the people holding you to account aren't your enemies. They might even be your best friends.
Speaker 5 (31:04):
World Reimagined with Gautam Mukunda, a leadership podcast for a changing world. An original podcast from NASDAQ. Visit the World Reimagined website at nasdaq.com/worldreimaginedpodcast.
Speaker 7 (31:17):
Gautam Mukunda does not speak on behalf of Rose Park Advisors LLC or any of its affiliates and is not soliciting investments or providing investment advice.