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Don't tell people how to do things, tell them what to do and let them surprise you with their results. -- George S. Patton

The common paradigm for success, especially in corporate America, is to work your way up the ladder. On the way up the ladder you out maneuver your fellow ladder climbers, amassing two-faced relationships, and knowledge of how the system works. This knowledge becomes the managers most prized possesion. By keeping their knowledge secret, they make it more difficult on the next crop of climbers, thereby securing their relative position on the ladder.

By aligning individual's definition of success with that of the company, startups completely change the incentive structure for the organization. Success in the startup is based solely on an individual's results. The expectations are clearly set and the vaugeness of the task removed. How the task is accomplished, whether you come in at 6:00am or 3:00pm to acomplish the task, or decide to accomplish it next to the pool is irrelevent. Results are the only metric that a member of the team is judged.

The amazing side effect of linking individuals success by their results, knowledge is no longer coveted as a way to keep your job. Information of how to accomplish a task is freely shared because it no longer hurts the knowledge holder to release what they know. By removing the politcal nature of ladder climbing and replacing it with a culture of rewards for results, a company can easily act as a single being, organicaly moving towards the same goal.

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Dennis Coyle




Essays about software, life and interesting stuff

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