We’re a restless bunch, us founders. We’re don’t tend to be particularly patient, and we get frustrated when people “don’t just get it”.
Or in reality, when they don’t “get” what we get.
It’s because we’re passionate about what we’re building. And as a result, we can be less forgiving – either to their face, or behind their back, or just inside ourselves – when someone on our team makes a mistake, or when they do something we wish they’d done differently.
The challenge is it goes further. Like most human beings, most of us justify or contextualise our own actions, but generalise everyone else’s…
I was late because my train was delayed. YOU were late because you’re disorganised, your life is a mess and you don’t value other people’s time.
MY proposal wasn’t 100% because I’ve got a lot on right now. But YOURS sucks because you never think from a customer’s viewpoint, you can’t add up and you have the aesthetic taste of a brick.
And “your mother was a hamster, and your father smelt of elderberries.” (look it up if you’re younger than 50!)
But as leaders, that tendency first to be critical, and then to make it about the person, is a dangerous brew. People get a bad rep very quickly. And we can make it really hard for them to pull that back.
All because of a “failed” project, or a lost deal, or a website that doesn’t look the way we want it to, or, or, or…
When that happens, we start to lose the good that that person can do. They get frustrated. We micromanage them.
But we need to remember that good people sometimes do bad things, and bad people sometimes do good things. That people are rarely really just as good as their last gig. That there’s a lot more that makes us similar than makes us different.
And that our leadership is a responsibility.
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