Team Zero & the Chief-Example-Officer

Avi Charkham
2 min readJun 16, 2020

Lately, I found myself talking with founders a lot about a concept I call “Team Zero”. It is an extremely simple concept to grasp and yet one of the hardest to apply.

“Team Zero” means that you, as founders, accept that your company is your creation and that everything you see in it, whether you love it or hate it, derives directly from you. You founders are the nucleus, you contain the DNA of the company and every other team, hence everything in the present company, and all the future potential of the company, is directly derived from your team. Team Zero.

It Sucks!

Now you might say… “Hey, this is incredible! If everything starts with me then I can change everything I want”… And you would be right. That is the truth as I’ve seen it in action countless times.

But that’s only half of the story. By accepting this truth you also have to forever let go of the notion of complaint or blame. And this sucks. Big time!

Blame and complaint are incredible “tools” that release us of responsibility. But the thing is that as long as you use them you deny yourself the incredible superpower that comes with the realization that you have the power to shape reality.

Chief Example Officer

A mother once came to Gandhi with her child and told him that he has diabetics and wondered if he could give them advice. Gandhi told them to come back in a week. When they returned he told the child “From now on eat less sugar”… The mom thanked Gandhi but asked “Why couldn’t you give us this advice a week ago?”… “A week ago,” said Gandhi “I too was eating sugar”…

This short story, captures the essence of being a CEO, or founder. It is in your example, not words that you shape your company.

With every word you say, with every priority decision you make, with every action you take. YOU, Team Zero, are shaping your company.

Be the change you want to see

Trust is a verb. Want to have trust in your company? Trust others.
Kindness is a verb. Want to see kindness all around you? Be kind to others.
Vision is a verb. Want a team of visionaries? Vision the future and let it guide you?

Ask… What is the one thing I want to change in my company?
Then ask … What has to change in ME for that change to happen?

It’s not fun or easy but there isn’t really any other option.