Two Fail-Safe Principles for Retaining Great Team Members

Cameron Moll
4 min readJun 20, 2018

Recently I had the opportunity to present “When We Align” at Front Conference in Salt Lake City. I shared three axioms for aligning teams: unity over uniformity, chemistry over culture, and people over process.

Yours truly speaking at Front Conference 2018. (Photo: Studio 526m)

At the end of my remarks I emphasized the human component of these axioms by sharing two fail-safe principles for retaining great team members:

Team members stay when they believe in the trajectory of the company/product/team, and when that trajectory goes off course or stagnates they feel empowered to course-correct.

Team members stay when they’re operating at or near their full potential sustainably, and they feel recognized and compensated for doing so.

In my 15+ years hiring, managing, and leading—and running a successful job board to boot—I’ve not found anything more successful for retaining great team members. When these principles are in play among team members, they remain engaged for extended periods. When either of these are lacking, team members are at risk of leaving.

I did a crazy thing years ago when I left a previous job: I kept a copy of my exit interview survey. Recently I stumbled on this survey in some old paperwork. Unsurprisingly, the reasons I gave for leaving correlated directly with the principles I’ve shared here.



Cameron Moll

Leadership + Design ᴇᴛᴅ 1999. Meta alumni. Authentic Jobs (acquired). Teller of fine dad jokes.