We had a difficult company-wide meeting yesterday. The outcome was far from what I expected. Having to let a team member go is never truly pleasant, no matter how convivial the parting is. I was awake late last night thinking about how I might have been able to avoid the situation. This blog is the result.
Leadership is learned and earned
I always saw myself in a leadership role as a child; I think that many of us do. I also thought for a long time that leadership was something that was just going to be handed to me after some unremarkable event, like graduating from college:
"Well, now that you've accomplished the remarkable feat of spending a large sum of money and time on theoretical pursuits: here is your team and your salary.
Maybe that fantasy came true for some people, but not for me or for my friends. I'm certainly not complaining, this entrepreneurial thing is quite the adventure. I have realized a few things on the journey so far:
- Inspire, but do so responsibly. Your words may provide inspiration for others to follow you, but be sure that your actions have grit and determination behind them. When other people start to follow, you're not the only one relying on your grind anymore.
- Don't stop learning; especially don't miss the lessons you'll learn about yourself. Apply those lessons. My leadership style has some ugly bits right now: I acknowledge that I can absolutely be too harsh when my fellows make mistakes and that doesn't exactly foster an environment of cooperation.
- Grit is good, but you have to evolve. This goes well with the above point: you can reduce the amount of determination and sacrifice you need to achieve your goals if you stay open-minded about revisiting assumptions and processes. Whether this is by optimization or by assumption of risk, these adaptations are important to recognize and consider.
- If you don't take care of your own needs (be they for leisure, social engagement, or even food), you will be distracting from providing your business with your full game.
Oh and maybe the biggest one: