In computer programming, there is the legend of the 10x developer – a developer who is ten times faster than their peers. We see star performers across domains – those who stand tall above their peers.
Yet, at its essence, a company isn’t a collection of individuals as much as it is a collection of teams. An individual within most organizations can achieve nothing on their own. But a cross-functional team of a handful of people can create wonders.
Our culture celebrates individuals. We often recognize star performers rather than star teams. We often have more individual awards rather than team awards. Yet, when you single out an individual performer, it is often at the cost of their team. This can easily lead to a culture of competition and one-upmanship within a team.
A 10x developer, then, isn’t somebody who can spit out code 10 times faster than their peers. Instead, it is that developer who can multiply their team’s output by an order of magnitude.