Your founder is your peer

If you are an employee in a company, how much of that company do you own?

On paper, if your contract doesn’t include stock options, you own no part of that company. The owners and the shareholders own the company in its entirity.

Yet, you own the work you do within the company. If it was your job to sweep the office floor, nobody but you decides how the floor would be swept on any given day. And a customer who walks into the office also perceives the company based on how clean the floor is.

Every company is merely the sum of the work of its employees with a brand identity slapped on top. If you own part of that work, you own also part of that company. The pay you receive at the end of the month is the dividend for your ownership.

Further, everybody else who owns it is your peer, including the founder and the CEO. When you reach out to them with a proposal, can you channel that part of your relationship?

I admit – there are jobs where you don’t own the work you do. Every bit of it is prescribed in a manual or micromanaged by a boss. In those cases you are merely a replaceable cog in a machine. If you cannot make peace with being an industrial cog, find a position where you can own your work.

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