Can I Lead Without Being Liked?


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In today’s Startup Therapy Podcast, Wil and Ryan talk about the pressures of leading a Startup team. It’s a Founder’s job to make difficult and unpopular decisions, even unconventional ones, which may merit the team's unfavorable reactions. Over time, these unpopular decisions make a Founder less likable. So then, at what point will being likable still matter?

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What to Listen For

  • 00:00 Intro
  • 00:30 As we lead, how important is it that we're liked?
  • 05:29 Making fundamentally unpopular decisions to grow
  • 11:56 When we’re starting, we build good relationships with people
  • 16:00 You’re a cool boss but you aren’t invited in team lunches
  • 19:23 The expectation for you to say ‘Yes’ all the time
  • 21:47 What about when decisions don’t map back to you?
  • 23:23 Even if you aren’t liked, you have to be respected
  • 28:39 Everyone loves you, but you’re doing a bad job
  • 32:43 Make difficult decisions but still empathize
  • 37:22 As the organization grows, there will be more people not connected to you
  • 39:39 Things you can do to seed some goodwill

115 episodes