Leaders want more efficient workplaces, and founders are in the unique position to set the cultural tone of their organization.
When founders invest in their team, it results in greater cohesion, performance, and a more supportive atmosphere. Employees, too, benefit from an inclusive environment that uses cutting-edge psychological tools to empower each person to make a meaningful contribution to the group.
But it’s often not that easy.
Most founders fail to recognize that the culture of their company is created not just through their explicit communication and the values they promote, but also through unintentional messages employees receive as part of your team. …
Many ambitious individuals engage in self-criticism that reduces their leadership potential and productivity.
While you may justify negative internal dialogue as part of the motivation you need to achieve, critical statements detract from energy that could otherwise be focused in the same direction.
They create internal tension between different parts of yourself that feel out of alignment: The perfectionist executor and the incompetent weakling you hide from others.
Without addressing this form of internal bullying, you’re unable to reach your full potential as a leader of your organization, and your perfectionist tendencies may sabotage progress before you’ve achieved your goals.
As an entrepreneur and cofounder psychologist, I’ve seen how these self-limiting tendencies contribute to startup failures. …
Motivation is important. Most successful people have the drive necessary to continue their journey of personal and professional growth. However, even the most achievement-oriented people come to a point when their motivation levels are depleted.
In order to sustain high levels of motivation for long periods of time, you need to understand the nature of motivation.
The best source of motivation is intrinsic, meaning that it comes from within yourself. If you’re looking to external factors — response from market, customers, competitors, etc. — then you’re motivation shifts along with those outside variables.
But if you’re driven by internal factors — your desire to grow, continue learning, solve a complex problem — your fate is less determined by social structures. It’s less likely to drift as your external contexts shift. …
Developing the ability to enter a state of flow is life-changing.
When you come into full contact with the present moment and lose track of the world around you, time flies, productivity skyrockets, and you experience a deep sense of fulfillment.
Positive psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi wrote, spoke, and intensively studied the state of flow. He said:
“The best moments usually occur when a person’s body or mind is stretched to its limits in a voluntary effort to accomplish something difficult and worthwhile.
Optimal experience is thus something we make happen” (Csikszentmihalyi, 1990, p. 3).
If you want to enter a flow state, you need to select a task that’s challenging enough to create mental/emotional arousal — you need to be engaged. …
Despite its shine in pop culture, there’s nothing glamorous about being an entrepreneur. In fact, of all professions, it may be one of the more difficult paths to success.
Instead of working eight years to climb the org chart in a conventional corporation, entrepreneurs cram those eight years into two or three hoping for a lofty exit that’s far from guaranteed.
The risks of evolving markets add to the immense responsibility founders feel for their company and employees. And if you’re not bootstrapped, there’s additional pressure from investors to demonstrate consistent growth.
This mixture leads to immense stress, difficulty sleeping, and strained relationships. …
Navigating the stress of entrepreneurship takes a toll on the cofounder partnership.
Research shows that 65 percent of startups fail due to interpersonal issues between the founders. A startling statistic, to be sure.
But what if you’re married to your cofounder?
Then, if business is not going well, it impacts your marriage. And if your marriage is not going well, it affects your business.
Though married individuals may wish that their company and their relationship are separate, the interdependence of these two facets means that for your business to thrive, your marriage must too. …
Not all well-intentioned leaders have the impact they desire.
Some individuals find themselves in leadership positions despite lacking the confidence and experience to be effective in their roles. They may enjoy the title, but come to loath the responsibility of managing people — a much more challenging skill than simply maintaining their own performance.
Many others, however, enjoy standing in front of a group of people. They do their best to manage group tasks, maximize communication, and develop a cohesive, high-performing team.
Despite these aspirations, they may have other shortcomings outside of their awareness that prevent them from developing into an effective leader. …
Since we’re a few short years away from a sleek cofounder dating app, one of the best ways to find your cofounder is to have an old-fashioned interview.
Your interview doesn’t need to be stale.
The awkwardness accompanying most job interviews is often due to the candidate’s desperation, the company’s interviewing incompetence, or other factors contributing to a one-sided engagement. But just as great interviewers ensure that it’s a two-way process, cofounders seeking to find the right match need mutual investment to ensure their working relationship will withstand the pressures of building a startup.
It’s no secret that most cofounder relationships deteriorate under near-constant distress, as 65 percent of startups that fail due to cofounder fallout. That’s why finding a good match and engaging in cofounder therapy or coaching is paramount: Your foundation must be rock-solid to achieve your goals. …
The best leaders aren’t merely intelligent, self-aware, and highly motivated.
While they may be all of those things, they’re also authentic — the type of person that naturally attracts the trust and support of others.
Authentic leadership isn’t about the person’s role or title, it’s an honest reflection of who they are as a person. Beneath the layers of conventionally defined success is a human, a complex individual complete with flaws, idiosyncrasies, strengths, weaknesses, and emotions.
No, the type of leaders I’m talking about aren’t your typical Instagram influencers, your YouTube personalities, or someone with an impressive title, they are the type of people that you trust without thinking about it. …
Ambitious individuals often fall victim to their pursuit of success.
By constantly preparing for the future or analyzing the past, successful people restrict themselves from being fully immersed in the present moment.
Most individuals with a thirst for achievement fail to recognize the very traits that make them successful also prevent them from developing a greater sense of fulfillment.
Strategizing for the future and delaying gratification for long-term gains builds materialistic wealth. Consistent, quality habits lead to the conventional markers of achievement. …