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(((Yonatan Zunger))) @yonatanzunger
, 14 tweets, 3 min read Read on Twitter
One thing that kept me at Google for a long time: Sergey has a strong moral compass. A lot of the best things about the culture at the company trace back to his clarity on that from day one.
There are a couple of people at Google whose direct involvement in something always reassured me a lot from an ethics and wisdom perspective: Sergey, David Drummond, and Kent Walker especially.
This may seem like a random thing to talk about, but it's important to note that there are people in positions of considerable power who don't "take ethics seriously" in the "apologize to the press" sense, but who actually understand it and know what it means.
That certainly doesn't mean they never fuck up: it's easy to miss something out of blindness to other people's lives. It's also easy to mess up in the areas we aren't looking at. That's why a diverse team is critical to getting safety right.
But in an era where bad actors seem omnipresent, and wealth and corruption seem synonymous, it's good to remember that there are people who actually understand what's at stake and care about getting it right.
That's tactically very important, too: when you're trying to effect change in an organization, there are often more people amenable to helping you than you may guess. Finding them, mobilizing them, and giving them what they need to win is critical.
Often that can mean information. When I worked on policy problems, one of the most useful things I could get was simple and clear examples of problems. Not because I needed to be convinced - but because having simple, repeatable, and analyzable stories helped me convince others.
Another big thing is understanding what's going on. The #1 reason @lizthegrey is worth her weight in gold, for example, is her ability to listen to an angry group, distill out what really matters to them, and communicate it effectively to other stakeholders.
Common situation: a very angry population is yelling about something real. People in a position to fix it don't really understand the problem. They see the anger, feel besieged, and stop listening.
This is a totally normal response (as anyone who's been a hate-sponge can tell you), but it means things don't get fixed. The solution isn't to tone-police the people who are angry: it's for some people who have the spoons and the skills to do the hard work of translating.
That work has to center on people in a position of power, who take the effort to listen even when they're overwhelmed. But if people in or out of power can support by putting clear words around what's happening, that can make a giant difference.
If you ever see such a situation and have the spoons and understanding available - something most likely to happen if it's not your personal situation, since then you're most likely to be overwhelmed - a really important way you can help is by listening and translating.
Of course, this requires the skill of really listening. A good metric is if you can explain each side's point of view in a way that they say "yes! That's exactly what I was trying to say!"

This is way harder than it sounds. But if you want to be a good ally, it's worth learning.
This obviously isn't the only thing you can do that's useful, but it's often underappreciated. If you can find the people in a position to act who would want to act if they understood, and arm them with words, information, or whatever they need, you can move mountains. //
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