“Hustle” is on the wall for a reason.  It’s our mantra.  It doesn’t mean frantic or busy, it means a purposefully lean approach to creating something out of nothing. It’s the art of pushing balls downhill or putting yourself in a place to be the beneficiary of serendipity. Hustling is a practice or approach to your work, it’s not a discrete thing you do - it’s a way of living and working." -Matt McDonnell, Managing Partner

There are 5 pillars to effective hustling:



Attitude and speed matter. You have to move fast, and love doing it.  When a great opportunity comes up, you are happily ready to tackle it at a moment’s notice.




  1. brisk and cheerful readiness.

Display alacrity in everything you do.


The buck stops with you. If you don’t do it, it won’t get done. More importantly, if you don’t do it well, it won’t get done well.  We’re on a light and fast expedition and we have chosen not to travel with a large team.  When you take something on, you finish it.  If you need help, ask for it.  If the task is impossible, say something. Others are depending on you to finish your work so they can build off of it.  Lack of ownership is perhaps the greatest transgression one can commit.


We rely on each other because we trust each other and we trust each other because we behave in a way that inspires trust. We’re honest and transparent even when it is hard to do so.  When we make a mistake, we own it.  You mean what you say and you do what you say you will. Your team, partners, customers, clients, service recipients, and community are counting on you.  

Continuous Improvement:

Process is everything.  Whatever you do should be backed by a documented process that can be refined and improved upon.  Done is better than perfect for the first iteration.  Perfection in subsequent iterations is achieved through continuous improvement. The easiest way to know if you’re practicing continuous improvement is to ask yourself “did I leave it better than I found it?”


Craftsmanship is the practice of modeling quality and intention in one’s actions. Sure you got your email list put together by the deadline, but is it free of duplicates?  Will someone else have to do a bunch of work to make your work product useable? Did you maximize the impact of your effort or just go through the motions? Are you proud of it? Could you look your grandmother in the eye and tell her this is the best work you could do? Would you be embarrassed if the New York Times reprinted your work? The hard part about craftsmanship is that you don’t get to take a day off, and there are no shortcuts.  You either use the fine grained sand paper and put on three coats, or you don’t.  Sometimes others won’t be able to tell if you cut corners, but you will always know, and your teammates probably will too.

Dan Graham