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Unveiling Spare's Guiding Principles: Taking Ownership

Introducing our new blog series: “Unveiling Spare's Guiding Principles”. Over the next few weeks, we invite you to join us on a journey through the core values that drive our organization forward and make Spare, Spare. Each blog will delve into one of our guiding principles— Take Ownership, Growth Mindset, Execute with Urgency, Drive Results, No Assholes, and Customer-Obsession— exploring what they mean to us, how they shape our culture, and the impact they have on our daily operations.

Shelby Perera

What does Taking Ownership mean?

At its core, Taking Ownership embodies leading with initiative, responsibility, trust and reliability. It’s about stepping up to the plate, even when the path ahead seems uncertain or challenging. It’s about having the courage to shoulder the weight of a task or project and seeing it through to completion, without waiting for any explicit direction. At Spare, it is a mindset— a heartfelt commitment to stepping up, taking charge and making a difference.

Have you ever felt that spark ignite within you when you see a challenge and instinctively say “I’ll take care of it”? - Now that’s taking ownership.

Why does this principle matter?

In today’s world, ambiguity is often the norm, with change being the only constant. Taking ownership empowers individuals to act decisively, to innovate, and to navigate through obstacles with resilience. It’s about showing up for our colleagues, our customers, and ourselves. When we take ownership, we’re not just solving problems, we’re demonstrating that we care— that we’re invested in the success and well-being of those we work with.

Taking ownership also creates a culture of belonging and trust. And when we say trust, we’re not just building trust with others; we’re nurturing a sense of trust within ourselves— a belief that we have the power to make a difference, no matter how big or small our contributions may seem.

“I wanted to give a shoutout to Fahim. Watching him work (sometimes live, directly in Figma!) is genuinely mindblowing. The speed with which he has transformed my graphs and numbers into beautiful infographics for the impact report is so impressive. I've learnt a lot myself from his innovative suggestions for how to best communicate different data stories. He's unfailingly courteous and helpful, and somehow manages to deliver his beautiful designs in double-quick time. Spare is lucky to have you, Fahim!”

- Jerome Mayaud (Director, Data Science) acknowledging Fahim Shahriar (Digital Designer)

‘Taking Ownership’ at Spare

At Spare, ‘Taking Ownership’ permeates every aspect of our organization. It’s not just about getting the job done; it’s about how we approach the journey. Rather than it being a badge of honor, we look at it as a gesture of care— an acknowledgement that each of us has a stake in the collective success of our team and organization.

“Another successful customer hackathon is in the books, as the RX and Motion teams went to Austin last week to show CapMetro how we respond to customer needs!  As he has demonstrated time and time again, Nick stepped into a leadership role by managing pretty much all the details of the trip from the largest to the very smallest.  His diligent work ensured we had a smooth, effective, and fun trip!”

- Joel DeYoung (Director, Software Development) acknowledging Nick Milum (Product Manager)

In a culture where ownership reigns supreme, individuals are empowered to lead from any position. Whether it’s troubleshooting a technical issue, proposing a new idea, or owning up to a mistake, every action is an opportunity to demonstrate commitment and unity. And it’s this collective ethos of ownership that keeps us moving forward, driving us to new heights of excellence and innovation.