Boss Vs Employee: No More

Boss Vs Employee: No More

The best employees will just figure out what needs to be done and go ahead and do it. If you were hired in an early stage team you’re supposed to be smart and be able to figure out by yourself what has the highest priority or if someone else on your team needs help with something.

Some people tend to only communicate updates on tasks and projects which they think will impact others, but it’s much more effective to give a (daily || bi-weekly || weekly) update about everything you’re doing. Ask your colleagues for help. Never be afraid to ask for help. If you’re stuck on something and you know someone else can help it is much, much better to ask for help instead of spending time trying to figure out stuff on your own. You’ll undoubtedly have to do so oftentimes, so when you can, ask for help. You’ll get stuff done faster, learn faster, foster collaboration and build morale all at the same time. People sometimes hesitate to ask for help, worried what others might think. In reality, team members are happy to help and appreciate it when others ask for it.

Startups are not an environment where you can under-promise and over-deliver. Whether you’re talking with customers, partners or your team, you should always over-promise and then work your ass off to over-deliver on those promises. Startups move fast and you often have to sell more than you really have. That leaves you with no choice other than doing whatever it takes to actually deliver. The #1 skill for a startup employee is the ability to prioritize. You will always have a ton of stuff on your plate, probably more than you have time for, so it’s really essential that you’re able to effectively decide what needs to be done first and what can wait just Curate the details when needed or just get the 80% done when it makes sense. No matter your role, there are three things you should constantly be doing for your startup: Always be recruiting. If you’re in a high growth company, one of the biggest challenges it will face is definitely recruiting smart people.

Remember to have fun. You won’t be able to do all of the above if you’re unhappy or overly stressed and not looking forward to every work day. It’s a hell of a ride, it’s fun, it’s rewarding and it’s much easier than being a founder, so enjoy it and try to learn as much as possible.

Behaving like an intrapreneur requires skills that are different from those of a typical enterprise employee.  We tend to hire employees for their existing knowledge, tools and processes. We hire them because they have significant domain knowledge that is valuable to the organization. As you apply Lean Startup and the organization behaves more like a startup, you need to be able to search for a business model that will work. You need natural curiosity, lots of patience, passion and the ability to influence others.

The ways that you evaluate your employees will be different as well. They will need to be rewarded for taking risks, failing and continuing to move forward. As an organization you’ll also need to determine how you will reward successful new business launches.   Will the intrapreneur get to move forward with their business idea or will they have to continue to work in their existing position? The answers to these questions will be different for every organization. You’ll need to use your new customer empathy skills to determine how your intrapreneurs feel.

Your employees are not the only people in the organization that will need to behave differently. This new way of  working will significantly impact your leaders as well. Rather than making decisions about the product(s) and keeping the team moving, your leaders will wear the hat of a coach or mentor. They will help to set a product vision, clear the path for their team, ensure the team is running effective experiments and not overlooking key insights.


Leave a Comment