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3 Ways To Build A Company That’s Not Driven By Status


How successful we are has everything to do with the way we structure our companies.

In my experience, most entrepreneurs organize their businesses in one of two ways: the conventionally successful way or the Strategic Coach way—what we like to refer to as a Unique Ability organization.

The primary difference between these two structures is how team members are motivated and how they define achievement. In a Unique Ability organization, the objective is to bring out the unique talents, skills, and energy of everyone involved. A results-oriented company of this kind promotes new ideas, has measurable goals, and encourages self-motivation and teamwork.

The flip side is a company where team members are motivated by status, a particular title, or a corner office, and who often feel disconnected from a purpose outside of themselves. Instead of focusing on how they create value or using their talents and strengths, they’re on the hunt for external rewards to provide themselves with incentives.

Below are three strategies that can be used to form a team that’s not consumed with their standings, and where everyone is working in areas in which they’re not only passionate, but have exceptional skill as well.

1. Encourage your team to discover what they’re really, really good at—not just what they think they’re good at.

The majority of people aren’t aware of their uniqueness. Our strengths are so ingrained in us that we generally don’t recognize how exceptional we are at certain things. It’s an incredible fuel source to spend time working in the areas where you naturally thrive. This also motivates people to focus on how they can expand their value creation using their skill set instead of only concentrating on what role carries the most status.

Promote a workplace environment where people are inspired to learn more about themselves either through profiles, like the Kolbe A Index and Clifton StrengthsFinder, or a process like Unique Ability. Compensate and reward people based on their unique contribution, not just their title.

2. Make your contribution greater than your status.

By promoting a mindset where talents trump status, you’ll notice an automatic shift in how team members view their contribution. They’ll focus on how they can create value instead of what role affords the most prominence. They’ll also concentrate on how they can use their strengths to solve problems and improve teamwork with others.

What’s interesting is that it’s the people who focus on contributing the most who actually gain status—but it’s a byproduct, not the goal.

“Always make your contribution greater than your status.”
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3. Do away with outdated, standardized titles.

There are a lot of reasons why people pursue status, and most of them have to do with how companies are organized and what they value and validate. If your goal is to have an engaged team, get rid of any impediments that may be standing in the way of this—including standardized titles.

Traditional titles, like CEO and manager, carry status and breed exclusivity; hence, it’s the reason everyone wants them regardless of whether they’re actually suited for the role. When you break away from these molds, recognition and compensation can be awarded based on the value someone creates, making for a much healthier workplace culture. We love titles based on someone’s specific strengths like “Scheduling Goddess” or “Chief Enthusiasm Officer.”

Entrepreneurial companies depend on the talents of each and every individual to keep the wheels turning. Embrace this notion and make it clear that success comes from celebrating the amazing diversity of talent, capability, and personality of those on the team.

About the Author

Shannon Waller, Entrepreneurial Team Strategist, is a natural collaborator who instinctively saw that a thriving Unique Ability® Team can strengthen their entrepreneur, the business, and themselves. A win-win-win. Go, team, is Shannon’s rallying cry.

Profile Photo of Shannon Waller