How SaaS and Other Hyper-Growth Companies Create Predictable Revenue

Authors: Aaron Ross and Jason Lemkin

Taking Ownership to the Next Level

Nothing builds loyalty faster in employees than showing them you trust them and empowering them to learn and produce. Ross and Lemkin say “You need to shake things up with yourself and your people: both (a) where people physically sit and (b) what they do for their job…When an employee excels at a job, you want to keep them there…By keeping them doing what they do best (today), they’ll excel in that job (today)…But if they get stuck there, at some point it’s going to stifle them and you’ll miss out on who they would become and how they could contribute in even bigger or broader ways.”

Let’s unpack that! Almost 100% of the prospective employees I have interviewed over the last 5 years have said their number one reason for exploring new employment opportunities was for opportunities of growth. At times they couldn’t specify what growth opportunities they were looking for, but they knew they wanted to be able to grow with a company.

The best thing you can do in that case is set that person (all of them) up for exponential success.Challenge them in new ways that stretches them beyond their current position. In some cases you can stretch them towards their interest, in other cases you can stretch them towards their strengths.

Ross and Lemkin describe four (4) types of employees (+1)

  1. (Mini) CEO: natural internal entrepreneur that isn’t afraid to take charge and push a program forward. They are highly motivated and also highly agitated. Give these employees bigger challenges even when they resist. If they do resist, educate them on why the assignment is important.
  2. Careerist: People that are content with climbing the ladder. Capable. Problem Solving. Trustworthy. Dependable. Come up with new goals and opportunities for them to own – otherwise, they may become clockers (spoiler).
  3. Clockers: Someone who Is there only for the paycheck, clocking in and out and doing little else. To get you money’s worth, clearly define job expectations and embrace hard conversations about what is expected in meeting them.
  4. Complainers: Great at identifying problems, but either don’t know hot to fix them, make excuses, or are just plain stuck. You have to dig for the truth with them.
  5. Toxic: They are abusive to work with or for. There is nothing you can do to change them. You can either (a) suck it up, or (b) quit.

The authors recommend focusing on the CEOs and Careerists. My experience is that those people will take pride in what they are doing and work hard to move the company forward. Those around them will either remove themselves or you can put measures in place to performance manage them out (when necessary).

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