Imagine you no longer have access to your vast array of team members and skills. You walk into work and are now individually responsible for marketing, selling, managing, testing, delivering and supporting your projects. While this may seem like a bit of a nightmare, this is a reality I believe everyone should experience first hand. I’m not talking about surviving a downsizing, but that would also be an opportunity for this type of growth. I am mostly referring to working for a start up organization.
In a startup, you wear many hats and are required to be passionate, focused and completely committed to each and every task. Your mind never stops working. The stakes are high and your performance directly affects your future. This mindset can be very rewarding and can propel your growth to new levels. There is no time or tolerance for politics, so everyone is focused on the work at hand.
If you can’t directly work for a start up organization, you can experiment within your existing organization and team to emulate this type of environment. Obviously you would need to obtain the necessary approvals, but this type of start up role playing drill can certainly change the dynamic and help break out of an organizational rut. While you may not be able to sustain the start up practice long-term, you will quickly determine organizational deficiencies and barriers to success. Not to mention you will have a new appreciation for your fellow team members.
My most educating and memorable experiences are from a startup technology organization. Yes, we played foosball, basketball and launched rockets when projects deployed. The camaraderie we shared and requirement to roll up our sleeves to get the job done allowed us to successfully manage major enterprise initiatives for high profile organizations. It is amazing the quality and volume of work products we produced being such a small team. It just goes to show how anything is possible with the right attitude, versatility, drive and determination.
~Ann E. Drinkwater