Executive Career Ladder

At Cantilever every team member is asked to be a leader. As a remote, asynchronous team we have to rely on each other to make the right decisions for the group, and we avoid a “command and control” mentality.

Everyone at Cantilever bears accountability for the success or failure of the company, but the executive team holds the ultimate final accountability for our results. The executive team are the “decision makers of last resort” – when a problem is not solved within the team, executives are responsible for figuring it out. The CEO in particular is the final “decision maker of last resort.”

Executives don‘t necessarily work longer hours than the rest of the team, but as ultimate decision-makers and as those held ultimately accountable for the results of the company, they often will want to put in extra time. Executives must be careful to avoid burnout and overwork.

Executives at Cantilever:

  • Chart the course for the future
  • Are the main faces of Cantilever to the world, in sales, and in recruiting (Though the whole team is involved)
  • Are responsible for the financial results of the company
  • Create the rules for how we govern the company and set expectations for how the team should be leading policy change
  • Create new teams or functions within the company and lead sweeping process changes that are difficult for other staff to handle
  • Take final accountability for problems and decisions that cannot be resolved strictly within the staff

As a small team, we have no full-time executives. Even the

does client work. Therefore this ladder often represents a fraction of a person’s responsibilities and therefore their compensation. For example, someone may be a technical leader and helping with day-to-day problems but also leading our engineering standards. This person may have their compensation based half on the Development ladder and half on the Exec ladder.

All of our ladders include a “Trainee” tier. As funny as it is to think of a “Trainee Executive,” this is actually an important stepping stone. Someone may come in with executive potential but without experience in our field. Or someone may be transitioning out of a production role and into a leadership role. The Trainee tier gives this flexibility.

Executive comp is weird because it corresponds so much with results and not with skillset. The ladder is here and explicit in order for us to be consistent with our approach even at this level of the company, but expect that pay calculations will not be as strictly tied to the typical formula when it comes to exec roles.

Executive Career Ladder

Internal Leadership
Manages at least one person, department, or major initiative within the company. Speaks out about company decisions and is a constant presence in major conversations.
Manages at least one team member. Acts as leader for at least one major company function (Design, Development, etc.)
The team members led by this person are happier than average, and growing in their roles faster than anticipated. The function(s) led by this person are thriving and superior to those at other studios. Helps to guide and coach the other executives.
Leads and coaches the other executives. Takes final responsibility for helping staff and functions that are not formally their responsibility.
External Leadership
Visibly touts the company on social media and promotes our initiatives and content. Promotes the company with their network and actively reaches out to potentially helpful connections.
Represents the company at conferences and events as an attendee and speaker. Writes blog posts and creates videos to promote the company.
Crafts and delivers our message through various media in a way that drives outcomes. Uses personal connections to create opportunities to speak and promote the company without requiring direction or support from anyone else.
Is a widely-known and sought-after speaker, writer, podcaster, blogger, etc. Uses all available media to deliver results for the company and create a lasting, powerful brand
Understands our books and uses that understanding to make proactive suggestions for business changes within their areas of control.
Knows our books in and out and is an expert in GAAP accounting. Can run the company’s day-to-day finances, leading our accounting team, coordinating to get taxes done, etc.
Makes strategic decisions around our finances, blending information from across the company with an intimate understanding of our books. Can craft and execute creative financial plans that cause significant improvement to the bottom line.
Can independently run major financial activities like acquisitions, strategic partnerships, and eventually, our IPO 😇
Can lead a hiring process using the “Who Method”. Uses their network to drive interest in our open roles.
Can find atypical candidates using proactive networking and creative thinking. Actively seeks networking opportunities to increase their exposure to potential candidates.
Has an exceptional record of hiring top people. Is known in the industry as a manager one would want to try and work for.
Is the public face of our recruiting message and uses that influence to drive interest in our roles. People regularly apply for jobs because this person is a leader at Cantilever.
Can bring in a small new client using our typical sales methodology (using a Diagnostic). Can onboard that new client and set them up for success. Reaches out proactively to prospective clients to create relationships.
Can lead a large sales process involving multiple stakeholders and rounds of discussion. Networks aggressively to create connections that lead to new client relationships.
Closes big deals at a higher rate than expected. Avoids closing deals that ultimately do not create benefit for the company. Is a highly visible figure in the industry with a large network of friends who refer us.
Has an exceptional track record of closing the biggest deals on favorable terms and ensuring the success of those clients after signing. Has a wide network within and outside our industry that regularly yields new connection opportunities.