If you have someone on your team who is consistently overdelivering, requires little supervision, and makes the team around them markedly better, promote them immediately and give them more responsibility along with that promotion.
A promotion is a great way for a CEO or manager to recognize ‘A’ players, to position them as role models within the team or company, and to regain valuable management bandwidth.
If you’re thinking seriously about promoting someone, especially at a startup, then it probably means you should do it. I have managed people who fit into the ‘Promote Fast’ bucket before, and the only regret in my time working with them was that I did not promote them sooner.
(1) Are titles about recognition, or do they reflect levels of responsibility? It’s a debate. In Seeking Alpha, titles are all about levels of responsibility.
(2) Thus, a simple litmus test for promoting someone is: Are there additional, meaningful responsibilities you want to give this person? If so, promote them. If not, don’t. And “promote fast” then means: Don’t be scared to throw extra responsibilities at capable people.