I asked my staff why he stopped taking initiative

Once, I asked my staff why he stopped taking the initiative at work. He replied that he learned not to do it because most things get canceled anyway. Then, I brushed it off as a poor attitude, until it happened to me.

For two months, I have been toiling to ensure that the absence of the outgoing interns does not hamper the productivity at LandX.

At 2 pm today, I was on the call negotiating a salary package for a tech lead to take a lesser position at LandX as a software engineer, without any pay increment.

At 3 pm, I was told:

...we will not have any much operational activities cuz we can’t do any sales. We also don’t know when will the license will happen, might be several months, hopefully this year we got it. We also probably won’t have much improvements on the app because of the pause. So we’re thinking is it possible to do the dev team hiring one first? and what are your plans if you wanna hire 3 people?

And it was unpleasant for two reasons:

  1. The CEO of LandX did not tell me this himself directly
  2. Two months of my toiling went to waste.

Committing in an agile environment

I get it entirely that being agile is necessary for a startup environment. But the job of the CEO is to communicate and anticipate. In an environment without enough information, decisions are always subpar and unstable.

I made this mistake at NuMoney, Putra CEO of LandX made this mistake.

By committing early and risk frequent cancellations, our employees will stop taking work seriously.

And by not committing till it is too late, we might stand to lose the first mover's advantage.

There is no right answer to this, but I am starting to believe that without clear information and finite resources, the path forward is to not commit to anything. Conserve the energy, resource, and motivation for the next committed decision that I can make as early as possible. And if I do commit, I have to follow through. That's my lesson for today.