Experiences are the best teachers but it is always better to be safe than to be sorry.
There are lessons that you will learn the hard way especially in business but as a startup founder, are you willing to learn even the most important lessons through your own mistakes? Perhaps, not. It is always better to learn from others’ mistakes than to make your own mistakes, incur losses, face embarrassment, and then pay for your mistakes.
Whether you just started off or whether you have already faced failure once or twice, following are two lessons that you have to learn quickly.
Lesson Number One: You are Responsible for Literally Everything
You are a startup founder and everything that happens in your startup is on you. Even if there is a small technical glitch, you are responsible for it. The sooner you learn this, the better. You simply can’t point fingers at anyone. You simply can’t tell anyone anything or blame anyone for something that has gone wrong. If you failed, it was because of your mistake.
Startup CEOs must accept this and take all the blame without hesitation. This is the first rule to being a CEO in the first place. No matter how many excuses you end up making about things changing rapidly or about the market going downhill, you have to accept that failure will always be your responsibility. No one will ask why you failed.
Lesson Number Two: Motivation is not Universal
Number founders have the bad habit of pushing their motivations on others, especially their employees. Motivations are not universal. Things work in different ways for different people. For example, if the fear of failing motivates you and pushes you to do better, it does not mean that it motivates everyone else. At the same time, if the joy of working motivates your employees, it doesn’t necessarily have to motivate you as well. People are different and their motivations are different.
Therefore, you should never think that what applies to you applies to everyone else as well. If you care enough, you will identify what inspires people around you.
Easier said than done but these lessons are crucial.
There are many leadership lessons to pick up and learn. While some have to be learnt through experience, you shouldn’t rely on learning things the hard way all the time because a few mistakes can be very dangerous.