Startup people are productive go-getters that know how to scrape and grind their way to making things happen. In nearly all situations, this is an awe-inspiring attribute to have. If you’re this type of person, or you hire these types of people, there’s one time that I’d watch out for these tendencies: being newly hired into a senior(ish) role.
Taking some time to learn as many aspects of the business, operations, organization, processes, and people as possible is exceedingly important for new leadership joining a startup. The problem with taking the time to learn these things is that it feels like you’re holding back. Like having your foot on the break when you want to just press the pedal to the floor. Basically, it feels like you’re coasting and not crushing it immediately.
While this can feel underproductive, I’d ask that you look at it from a logical perspective. How can you really make the most impact? Figure out what’s working and what’s not, and implement improvements. How will you identify what needs fixing? You’ll witness it or participate in it and ask smart questions. How will you find the time to shadow and get in the trenches? You’ll make this a priority, knowing that what will follow this period of watching and learning will be an accelerated and on-point analysis and improvement plan with real knowledge and data points supporting it.
My suggestions: hit the pause button, learn everything you can, take great notes and highlight areas for improvement, prioritize what needs to be fixed, layout a game plan, share that with others, take feedback and tweak, go crush it!
Thoughts? Leave a comment below!