I’ve worked in the corporate world and although I may have walked away with a good sense of structure, I just couldn’t handle the day to day grind of dressing up formally to sit with a bunch of schmucks, while being stuck in a cubicle that later became a corner office. It all just felt too formal!
So as I embarked on my own projects with my partners, one of the main rules we set and made sure to abide by was keeping true to our non-corporate rules! If anything, it helps keep our juices flowing and our creativity booming.
1. Be a Jack of All Trades
Screw job titles. They, in essence, mean nothing, especially if you work at a startup. We all know you’ll end up doing a little bit of everything, AND THAT IS GREAT! Why, you may be asking? Because you get to hone a whole different set of skills you wouldn’t have if you were working in your boring 9 to 5 that doesn’t give you room for growth.
2. Open Spaces
If there were loft spaces in Egypt, I would make sure everyone from management to the office boys were sitting in the same area. This encourages free flowing ideas, communication and even pop-up brainstorming sessions. Offices are passe. We’ve made sure that the outer area of our offices incorporate as much common areas as possible.
3. Every Day is Casual Day
Wear what you want! If it makes you comfortable and will maximize your production and capabilities, then I’m all for it! This, of course, doesn’t count if you are sitting with a client or have an important meeting. If coming in with shorts and flip flops on a regular day will have you more on top of your game, then do it and let your employees do it.
4. A Sense of Ownership
Giving your team a sense of ownership over every project or account they work on is the only way to progress, I believe. They are your partners, not your subordinates. They may have better ideas than you (gasp) and you may have the know how on how to implement it better. Always remember: “There is no ‘I’ in ‘Team'”.
5. F the Bureaucracy
Cut the bullshit and the red tape and approvals. The beauty of having a startup is giving your team the ability to make decisions, or having the ability to get to the CEO without having to go through a never-ending hierarchy.
“Even though startups have their own kind of hierarchy, in a small team it’s not hard to lean over the desk and hit the CEO in the face to get his/her attention instead of having to go through the typical organizational nightmare to get an appointment with someone who isn’t even the decision maker. Less bureaucracy means achieving your goals and taking decisions in a much quicker and more efficient manner.”
WE SAID THIS: Provide the environment you want to work in and treat your team the way you want to be treated and they will take care of you!