A metric for investing in your team

Here is a thing not many people will say out loud: investing in your team is hard.

Often, it is an expected part of a founder, executive, or leader's job but not valued in the same way that revenue, customers, product use etc. are even though investing in your team is what helps you hit those goals.

Coaching / leading a team is also the defining factor in whether or not you are creating sustainable and responsible growth with purpose, with equity...or just floating some line about diversity or meritocracy.

How you design your internal choices (or not) and enable your team to keep iterating, changing, updating, seeing opportunity individually + together, that's the whole battle.

You'll never hear this at a board meeting or on a quarterly earnings call, but it matters.

The best leaders lose sleep over this problem all the time. While everyone else is pretending to be prescient, those leaders are investing in their team, getting hammered by executive / investor anxiety in some mtg and 2 mins later taking the time to listen / help / coach their team through solving a problem, feeling valued, finding a path forward.

One of the most important parts of the equation is making sure there are real metrics attached to investing in team and operational capacity, because it is not the sort of thing that produces immediate revenue or increases customers.

Here’s an example: setting a goal for a team or individual of running 3 experiments per quarter, with one that leads to a product feature launched the next quarter.

Other examples include things like adding a new section to an internal guide or SOP, designing an internal or external training or presentation, or creating a distribution or channel partner beta.

When you prioritize these types of metrics, you not only send an important signal that internal capacity, creativity, and innovation are valued, you also open up opportunities in the market that you might not otherwise have seen.