Easily a “shit no one ever says” statement as I have never met a single startup founder who ever thought to themselves “Hey, I’d love to start a really cool new venture and make sure that the culture is one that is based on fear, gender stereotyping, and intimidation! What fun!”
I’ve been thinking a lot about the relative “weight” of the many companies that I’ve had the pleasure (and pain) of interfacing with and the decisions that made them become consistently “light” or how they ended up being incredibly bloated and “heavy.”
It has made me consider and evaluate what has worked for the companies that had remained lean and of the ones that had more mass how I and/or the leadership team made efforts to offload the unnecessary and burdensome weight.
The true test of any team is their ability to manage conflict well and their ability to thrive in an environment which welcomes conflict with open arms.
It’s not that any team or organization wants to have conflict or actively seeks it out but the question is whether or not it’s possible to have healthy conflict in that particular context or whether the company folds and the leaders disappear when the tough discussions need to happen and be managed well.
It can be even more complex when you work with people that you consider as not just business partners and co-workers but also friends. Some may shy away from this dynamic but I can’t seem to not become good friends with those that I work with so closely. I believe that there are few better environments to have conflict than those types of environments.
Why? Because the bedrock of that dynamic hold a fundamental truth: That you care deeply for each other first and foremost and that you are, in fact, looking out for their best interests.
The fact that you got up today, whether you got up strongly or with an attitude or that you barely made it out of bed, is a testament to your perseverance.
You could say that you “have” to get up because of your job or because you “have” to get your kids to school or whatever else is on the list but that’s not fundamentally true as you don’t have to technically do anything.
Sure, there would be consequences to your inaction but that’s besides the point.
I’ve been spending a lot of time working on a number of plans to execute against both personally and professionally. It’s hard enough to work through just one with excellence and I feel like I’ve got 3 if not 4 of them at this point in time! My family and my various teams have been working incredibly hard to make it all happen and I am humbled to be a part of it all.
But there’s one big catch: You see, the simple truth is that planning in the context of a technology venture (and most of life) is akin to guessing in many, many ways. You simply do not know if the decisions that you’ve made are the right ones for both the short and long-term.
All you can do is forge ahead and hope (and pray) that you’ve made the best guess possible. There is just too much noise among very few signals in our environment, ecosystem, and marketplace to know with absolute certainty that I am (we are) hitting the mark.
In the first year we had everyone trying to kill us…
Even though this video is a few years old I still go back to it from time to time. We are all so guilty of looking to our left and to our right and spending far too much time comparing our own progress with ten thousand other people.