A year ago, I decided to quit my job and go out on my own. The organization I worked for at the time had just been acquired by a very large firm, and one thing I always knew about myself was that a big corporate job and structure was not for me.
If there is one thing I hate, it’s red tape.
As fortune had it, a friend of mine reached out to me with a potential position at, yes, another large company: LinkedIn. There were many things I learned when I got to the Sunnyvale campus, but what really struck me was how well LinkedIn treats their employees. It was obvious to me immediately why this company had been so successful and how they became a household name.
Even as a contractor I was expected to go to the same new hire orientation as all other employees. This too seemed odd, but in many ways, obviously, was a good idea. One of the first things I heard in my orientation is something that I know I will use and adopt in my businesses for the rest of my life: “Act like an Owner.”
I love this saying for so many reasons, but mainly because it might as well say, “To hell with the red-tape!” Do what you think you need to do, when you need to do it, think on your feet, and well, act like an owner.
To me, rules and red tape are only there for one reason: to protect yourself and your company from bad employees doing bad things. So why not just make sure you hire good people who do good work, and thus, no tape needed? Might this also make the employees in your company feel like they are appreciated, respected, and have jobs people rely on?
Now I’m sure lots of people reading this are rolling their eyes and thinking, “It’s not that simple. We need those rules for reasons of X, Y and Z.” Let me be clear: I understand there will always be a level of approval and review needed on processes that have high consequences. Trust me, I get it. But I also think even the eye rollers out there get the point I am making. And if not, maybe the red tape is there for you.