Saturday, September 13, 2014

5 Painful Lessons from Value Driven Leadership

What is value-driven leadership? Simply put, it's leading by creating a common set of values and goals that everyone agrees to and aspires to uphold, then doing your best to get out of the way! It can be very painful, however, because having a strong culture with clear values, means living up to them. Here are 5 Painful lessons I have learned while trying my very best to do value driven leadership as CEO.... In reverse order to the #1 most painful lesson.

 5. The values you create can make you feel trapped because you yourself have to live up to them. The lesson is don't create values of your company that you can't live up to!

 4. Getting out of the way is hard to do. It's especially hard when you know how to do the job better and faster than the person who's job it is to do it. That's really hard... The lesson is, you have to be able to let someone fail, and let them come to you for help. As soon as you break the rule and do the job for them, without them asking for help, you've broken the value-driven leadership.

 3. Recruiting is harder. Finding people is just plain hard because you know they have to both match the values of the company AND be able to do the job. Creating a good set of screening questions is key.

 2. It hurts when you have to let someone go. They probably do live up to many aspects of your culture and you've grown to like them... but either they can't do the job, or more likely, there has been some value mismatch you didn't catch on #3 above. The lesson is, do it quickly, before you become too attached (if you can)... and if not, do it as soon as you are sure there is a core value mismatch.

Finally... #1

1. It hurts really bad when people decide to quit. Especially when they were a perfect match for value and role... or then again, maybe they weren't a perfect match after all. Either way, the trick here is to move on quickly, but stay in touch... you never know, Austin is a small town!

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