How to invest in a team and take the long view
Most startups fail. But why? People fail. People lose momentum. They give up. They run out of money. They get distracted. They change direction.They are stopping the company for whatever reason it may be. They fail.
When people fail, companies do. That is why creating and developing an empire is far more about managing and enabling people than it is about any other validators. Go out and raise the most money. Get the best tech. Get press. Even get customers!
Without a team, you are likely screwed.
That can be hard to swallow. We’d all like to think that we are independent and can go conquer the world alone. The reality is that is often impossible.
ASIDE — You may be able to build momentum in the short run. You may be able to get your project get off the ground and running successfully. But long term — it is rare to find a solo company thriving.
Why do you think that is? Why are people so important and critical to the success of growing any idea off the ground?
Why do most projects and companies fail?
As I’ve said before, it is all about the people. We often over prioritize the product and forget that employees build the product. We over index on the current state and do not think long term enough to properly allocate our resources on the one piece essential to the pie — the people.
We are complex beings with a unique context of goals, wants and needs, and personal problems and preferences — things we want from the world. This makes it really hard to manage us.
So when you get employees, feel special. You got other people to come and work on your idea! This is an incredibly humbling feeling. They could be doing so many other things with their time — but they choose to work with you.
How do you harness your cofounders/employees passion and channel it in the right direction?
Start with goals. The biggest cause of miscommunication at a startup or project is in handling each and every person’s unique expectations / personal goals.
Setting goals for the company starts with understanding what your employees want from their experiences.
Empathize with your internal stakeholders over anyone other party. Your team has your back. Make sure you have theirs.
We all encourage our employees to dream big, but do you ever consider that helping them achieve those dreams could go far in achieving your own goals?
Then, I dedicate time every week to help them set tangible steps to make these dreams come true. I don’t mean loaning them cash for a 7-Series BMW or buying their ticket to Peru. Helping, in this case, means reverse engineering their goals into small, attainable steps. Or, it could mean lending expertise and calling in favors from your own network. — COO Training Blog
It is about doing, not saying. Invest in your teammates so that they know they can trust you once the going gets rough.
Make big bets on allocating time with your employees and show them that you genuinely recognize how important they are to the future and livelihood of your company/project.
Without them — the company would not exist.
Make them feel special.
Nothing is more powerful than a bunch of really smart people in a room who are all super passionate about what they are doing.
Facebook was built that way. Twitter, Snapchat, Linkedin — each and every company started the same way — with a blank slate and a desire to do something.
So was the United States.
Bring power to your people. Together, you can accomplish much more.
Thanks so much for reading! My name is Jordan Gonen and I write blog posts every day. It would mean a ton to me if you could:
If you ever have any questions, send me an email jordangonen1 at gmail dot com ! Thanks so much!