We’d like to believe that we as company creators and leaders are not flawed. But au contraire.
In this article from Inc.com, Martin Zwilling notes that most founders are wrong to say that lack of cash was the reason that their businesses failed. Instead, he points to six common challenges associated with “Founderitis.”
Here’s my summary.
To be Entrepreneurs for Impact that avoid the pitfalls of others, read closely. :)
#1 - Setting arbitrary goals without team input.
No founder has a crystal ball. Nor will she be doing all the execution. So, get the team buy in and crowdsource input from all those smart and motivated people that you hired.
#2 - Team leaders and advisors picked as “yes” men.
We all like to be surrounded by friends. But when creating and growing a company, we don’t just need cheerleaders. We also need devil’s advocates and constructive critics who have the company’s success as their priority, not soothing the founder’s egos.
#3 - Vomiting on “processes” to avoid “bureaucracy”
Very few people love the excess forms, meetings, steps, etc. that are associated with large organizations such as corporations or governments. However, some level of systems, planning, and checks and balances is the foundation of a well-run business. Managing purely by “gut feelings,” anecdotal evidence, and fire drills is often flawed and exhausting.
#4 - Regular team meetings are a roller coaster ride
Instead of status reports and realigning on near term action items, meetings go too deep into single items (to the exclusion of many other topics that need attention) or go too high (emotionally) urging the team to “really be committed” and push harder (which can’t last forever).
#5 - “I’m right” versus “What’s right?”
As founders, we are only human. As such, when someone criticizes our business decisions or the progress of our company, it may sound like they are “calling our baby ugly.” But unless you’ve picked some terrible human beings as advisors and co-creators, then their criticisms are likely meant to improve the business’s chances for success. So, it’s time to get a thicker skin, shut up, and start listening more.
#6 - Paranoia and frustration take over
Launching and running a business is hard. But when times get tough, assuming the worst from people and prospects is no way to right the ship. Instead, this tends to make matters worse and conform reality to match negative self-talk.
So, be honest…Do any of those describe you?
They certainly described me at various points on my path.
If so, don’t worry. There is a solution.
Stop doing them.
Your team, investors, and customers will thank you.