Identifying Individual Contributors

You need to identify who your leaders are and who your individual contributors are early on in the process. 

Failing to do this is going to create a lot of frustration for you and your team. Sit down with them and ask what they enjoy, what gets them excited for work, and—this is important—what they aren't interested in.

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There are a million opportunities left, right, and center.

  • An individual contributor doesn't need to be stagnant in a cycle of repetitive tasks. Give them the opportunity to manage projects from start to finish. Or you can expose them to different areas of the business where they can contribute, while also expanding their knowledge and skillset.
  • Recognize their efforts. As they manage more projects and take on more responsibility, the pay and title should reflect that. Growth isn't only about leading people—it's about responsibilities, skills, pay, and title.
Leaders And Individual Contributors

Success looks different for each person—as does fulfillment.

  • Organizations usually put so much weight and focus on the need to grow into a leader that they're failing to see that individual contributors often lack a unique plan to help them forge their path to success.
  • Making sure your individual contributors are heard and seen is vital. Leaders are great for seeing the big picture and creating a strategy, while your individual contributors are great at understanding the mechanics and nuances within the strategy.

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RELATED IDEAS

This is one of the most important stories in our culture. You're supposed to start at the bottom and work your way toward the top.

If you want to move up in the ladder, you are most welcome, but it should not be an imposition, a mandatory race for everyone.

Our culture is obsessed with work

The phrase "work-life balance" seems to imply that work and life are in balance.

If one imagines an old-fashioned scale, that would mean work is on the one side, and everything else about yourself on the other side - your friends, hobbies, family, relationships, beliefs, sports, etc. It hardly seems like a balance and really points out our obsession with work.

Meetings have an intended purpose

Some people try to use meetings to achieve things that meetings won't work for. That can turn an intelligent group into a dull and mean monster.

Types of meetings to avoid:

  • Daily standups or status updates.
  • Anything without an agenda.
  • A meeting with too many people.
  • Brainstorming from scratch.

It's not that all meetings are bad, just that there are better tools to accomplish the job.

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