Level of Committment

Excerpt from the fantastic piece "10,000 Hours with Reid Hoffman: What I Learned" by Ben Casanocha:

>>"Be clear on your specific level of engagement on a project

Here’s a handy way to categorize different types of engagement on a given project. Reid uses this shorthand.

  1. Principal – You’re driving the process. You’re the man. You have ball control.
  2. Board Member – You’re probably an investor. You’re regularly meeting with the principal. You’re thinking about the project even when you’re not formally scheduled to be doing so. You’re continually up to speed on the latest and greatest.
  3. Investor – You’re a supporter (financially or with periodic bursts of time), but you’re not actively involved in the project. You’ll meet with the principal occasionally. If you’re called to do something, you have enough context such that you can be helpful on a reactive basis, but you won’t have up to date knowledge.
  4. Friend. You enjoy talking to the principal. But the moment you walk away from the breakfast or lunch – that’s it. You’re not thinking about it anymore.

Of course, the lowest level of engagement on a project is no engagement.

Next time you decide to get involved with an idea, which tier of engagement will you commit to? Clarifying this for yourself and for the other party involved can be super helpful."


I cant emphasize enough how much better I want to be at this kind of expectation-setting.

I love to help with things but tend to overextend myself, expect a lot from others, and struggle to express my disappointment constructively when their product/contribution doesn't meet my standards. Much less heartbreak if I can use frameworks like this one to define my involvement in things. 


Kathleen MeilComment