Managing startup employees made simple

A roles exercise to help you create happy, high performing teams

Startups are often places with very loose roles and responsibilities. This flexibility is a great strength–but can also create crossed wires, confusion, and important things not getting done.

When things get a little too chaotic, founders often respond with either aggressive management (deadlines) or complete laissez-faire. Either way, quality usually plummets and talented people leave

But there’s a way to effectively “manage” a startup without getting heavy handed. Simply define the things that need to get done, and collaboratively agree on who’s responsible for what—without dictating how people do their job.

#1 - Make a list of ongoing things that need to get done

To start, write down all the things that must get done for you to be successful. These should be evergreen roles, not individual tasks.

For example, most startups need these roles:

  • Raising money - making pitch decks, reaching out to investors, pitching, negotiating terms, keeping investors updated, managing board meetings
  • People management - making sure we have a highly talented team, hiring new people, letting people go if necessary, removing obstacles to productivity, offering access to mentors and training
  • Vision - deciding what the long term goals of the company are, communicating the vision, getting everyone aligned on a single mission

Four levels of founder sophistication Coming soon
Tips for working with founders Coming soon

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