Startup Management Shuffle: Survival, Part 2

Startup Management Shuffle

Startup Management Shuffle

You’ve become known as the “organized one” at your startup, since you’ve started to take notes and call for meetings. People may be looking to you as someone to lead them out of the chaos and into the sunlight of a well-oiled machine. That might be a mixed metaphor, but you know what I’m getting at. What other ways can you use to help yourself survive and thrive in a management shuffle? Here are some ideas.

Be the Archivist

If you’re prepared with notes from past meetings, that will enormously help the entire team. You can use a footer to note the name of the document and whether it’s version 1, 2, 3, etc. Don’t forget to date the notes, too! If you send notes to your team, send a .pdf. In the olden days, this used to be called “version control.” You can change the version in the footer every time you make a change (and don’t let a bunch of people work on the same doc at once, unless you’re working in Google docs).

Manage Expectations

Every time there’s a new bunch of people in charge, you have to figure out what they expect from you and what you can expect from them. If you can quickly let go of past expectations that will help a lot. Learning to go with the quick change tide is what happens in a startup.

Figure out Your Job Duties

With new management, your job duties may suddenly change. You may suddenly have more or fewer duties, and those won’t always be communicated directly, so asking lots of questions can help. Your title may change as well.

Know When to Fold ‘Em

Know When To Fold 'Em

Know When To Fold ‘Em

Some degree of pushback is to be expected during any reorg. There may be a kerfuffle or two. Realize that you can have a resume ready to go in a couple of hours if you really need to bail. It’s so easy to think that where you work is the center of the universe, but there are other jobs, and many other good jobs.

What Strategies Have You Used?

If you’re at a startup, what are you doing to keep your sanity?


  1. I like the resume ready advice. That’s applicable to anyone.

    • Yeah me too! Having a resume on deck is clutch in case there’s a fire. Even if you like you’re job… never know what can happen!

      • Hi Eric,

        Having a backup plan is so important in a startup! Keeping that resume updated is like having the 3-day supply of food and water in case of an earthquake.


    • Well, you just never know if you’re in a volatile environment. One day you’re doing the happy dance, and the next day, you’re making a YouTube video that goes viral (of your exit). :-)
      Thanks for commenting, Bridget! I appreciate it so much!

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