Not All Founders Are Leaders 😫
Apr 30, 2021 2:02 pm
So much to talk about today! The option period on our home is done and there were no repair requests. Now we're in the home stretch of closing on selling our home. My office is full of boxes that I'm sorting through, and this will be my life for the next few weeks.
Like a strange full-moon, founders decided it would be a great time to use the internet to make public announcements of their bafoonery. The founders of Basecamp and Hey wrote on their blogs how they are banning political discussions, employee committees, the DEI initiative will be stopped and returned to their HR dept, and feedback will no longer include peers. They closed by saying it's their company and they can do what they want. There was no announcement to the company, just their blogs.
Then the founder of Patreon, not to be outdone, made a Youtube video describing the financial health of his company while simultaneously announcing he was firing everyone because they weren't a good fit for the future vision of the company.
When I went through a startup incubator, the mentors and investors we worked with made sure we knew that often times founders aren't leaders. They are instrumental in launching a company, but often don't have what it takes to stabilize and scale it. So if we were serious about the start-up we were building, we have to accept the possibility that we would be replaced as leaders for the good of the business.
Basecamp's founders decided that employees who can speak freely hindered progress. Patreon decided that people who learned everything about the company and customers were incapable of growing. Neither seems to think that a motivated workforce matters.
I don't have any particular point to make about these, there's too much in both announcements. So what I'll suggest is that you look at the announcements, the responses, and consider some questions like:
- In what ways do I agree with the founders?
- In what ways do I not?
- What would have to be true for me to take those steps?
- In what ways am I more like them than I want to admit?
- What can I take from this to make me more of the leader I aspire to be?
Oh! I'm looking for new consulting clients!
My gifts are solving impossible problems in software groups and building teams that often outperform their peers by up to 10x.
If you have problems remotely related to that I'd like to talk to you, and if you know someone else who does, introduce me!
I live on referrals.
Here's my weekly update for April 30th, 2021...
Today the company that produces Basecamp and Hey released an announcement to the world about how they will be changing direction in their leadership and culture.
If you want a sense of the response, listen to the podcast some of its employees produce.
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