Startup Therapy Podcast

Episode #117

Ryan Rutan: Welcome back to another episode of the startup therapy podcast. This is Ryan Rutan joined as always by my partner friend, founder of startups dot com. Wil Schroder will, how much time have we spent over the last decade or decades, let's just say the decade we've spent together, How much time have we spent trying to enforce behavioral change amongst people and probably even better question, like how often has it worked?

Wil Schroter: Well, I think if, if I, if I look at my personal batting average and, and, and, and, and I'll loop you into this in a second over nearly 30 years, I think I've

Ryan Rutan: probably hired

Wil Schroter: employed Over 1000 people in that time despite my best efforts, I'm 100% sure I've made substantive change in zero of them. And since you're part of that journey, I think that applies as well and and here's the crazy thing, not from lack of effort.

Ryan Rutan: If

Wil Schroter: you really think, oh my God, how many Heart to hearts have we had? How many, you know, this one conversation will finally address it. How many of those have we had Ryan, and how often has that ever actually worked?

Ryan Rutan: Never. And and, and, and and we tried hard, like we had, we even had like beautifully set up methods for this. Do you remember the walks around the lake?

Wil Schroter: For

Ryan Rutan: those of you don't know, we had this office that was, that was set back in a valley, basically a treehouse for people who wanted to work in a startup. It was beautiful, but had this path that meandered through this pastoral gardens and led around a beautiful lake. I mean, you want to talk about a place to have a heart to heart and actually have it stick um sort of occasionally running into a snake um at lakeside, which changed the mood on occasion. Um it was perfect, like it was like golden pond, we would go there and like we were just missing Henry fonda um and we could have these amazing conversations um and really feel connected to the people and yet right? Like

Wil Schroter: and yet

Ryan Rutan: just yeah, it just, it never never seemed to quite get to where we hoped it would go right. Um when we were talking about people's behaviors. Yeah,

Wil Schroter: alright, so before we get into this next topic, I just want to let you know what we talk about here is like 1% of the conversation, you know, really, this conversation is going on all day long online at groups dot startups dot com. Where Ryan and I pretty much talk endlessly with founders about every one of these topics. So if by the end of this discussion, you like the topic and you want to dig into it a little bit more with Ryan and I just had two groups dot startups dot com and we'll pick it up from there. We were so sure of it, right? And I think as founders, um we all believe that we have like this, this mentors touch that's finally going to inspire this person to, to be all these things, right? Either to make them more ambitious or make them less toxic or make make them, you know harder working whatever we think it is, we think our radiant leadership is just going to fundamentally change their behavior. And what we're talking about here, we'll talk about today and we'll unpack is behavior, we're not talking about skills, we're not talking about, you know, whether or not they are capable of something, you can unlock a lot of capabilities, great coaches do that. We're saying if we hired a person who prior to working for us was a jerk, right? And prior in in that job, prior was a jerk, they were jerkin in middle school and you know, whatever when they arrived at our

Ryan Rutan: organization

Wil Schroter: and we found out through some series of events that they're kind of a jerk, right? They were just not, you know, they're not kind of people what have you and and we said, you know what, let's just address it. You know, let's sit down with them and let's explain to them what's happening and how it's affecting other people, hold up the mirror, can you see

Ryan Rutan: that you're behaving like a jerk? Okay, cool. Is that going to change things? Unfortunately? No,

Wil Schroter: no, in and I think that's the core of what we're gonna talk about today, which is why is that? You know, why is it that we try so hard as managers to try to take the jerk and that's not always the jerk again. That's just one behavior. Why do we believe so strongly that either the organization can wrap around and kind of create guardrails for that behavior or that we can coach it out of them, mentor it out of them or this is the best part that they're being a jerk is just a reflection of our bad leadership. Were better leaders, were that that that one fantasy leader that we believe somebody else must be. We'd have this Yoda moment where we turned them into a Jedi, right? Well,

Ryan Rutan: I think I can answer the why really, really simply right? Because because we always believe that we can change things like as founders, it's sort of our core philosophy that we can change anything, right? That's literally what we set out to do. We set out to change the world through a product, through a service through through our organization and it doesn't exist at all yet. So we're constantly constantly creating change. And it's the thing that drives us, we thrive on change. If things stop changing, we're not making progress, we're not growing, we're not doing. And so this is just an extension of that behavior. It just happens to be that we've now directed that behavior towards the least malleable material on the planet, which is human behavior, right? So it's our own behavior that leads us to believe that we can change that of others and there's a little bit of a fallacy there.

Wil Schroter: Well, let's let's build it. Let's talk about the certain things that by definition we kind of can't change. And yet we kill ourselves and the rest of the organization in the process pretending like we can. And so let's use two different paths. Let's use a path. # one is ambition, right? We want people to just instinctively be more ambitious, right? That's a positive path. Uh, path to is toxicity. We want people to be less toxic, less of a jerk like whatever, you know? So one is positive one is negative. And I think what we'll talk about today is we actually can't have a lot of influence on either, right. And what we mean by influences, if people do shitty things, yes, we can create some guardrails around that behavior. That's not the point. The point is, why did they do shitty things? Who were they fundamentally when they came out of the womb? That that was this shitty person. And why is it that for some reason we have this God complex that we believe that 20 years prior, 30 years prior to getting here, their entire DNA coupled with their entire childhood and upbringing and professional career can single handedly be diverted by our Godlike hand like this one conversation that's going to change all that. You know what I mean? Yeah, I

Ryan Rutan: mean? It goes back to a couple of things and I'm sure there are more, but the two main ones for me are we need this person, right? We hired them for a reason. And, and, and there was there was a promise of a skill set or some outcome that they could create for us that we needed within the organization and we don't want to let that go. Right? And that that's fairly obvious, I think, right? Like it's like we, we hired this human, we need to get these things done without them. It means going back to the drawing board, hiring somebody else, going through all of that pain, onboarding training and hoping that we don't end up with just another version of the same jerk in this case and that's tough, right? It's, it's tough and we want it to work. We wanted to work for all the right reasons, right? The God complex part in the, the unwavering belief that we can do this comes down to that founder ego, man. I mean like it's, it's kind of that simple, right? Or

Wil Schroter: lack of experience?

Ryan Rutan: Yes, yeah, definitely. For very early founders, like if you just haven't tried to change people, um, you won't yet know that in most cases it's just not possible. So yeah, I'd say that's, that's a third, it's just inexperience.

Wil Schroter: If we break it down, we say, look again, here are the things I can have influence on meaningful e and here's the things I can't, I'll throw some caveats in here, The things I can our skills, the things I can our personality right with, with a few caveats, I have seen people come into the workforce often early in their career and they just don't quite understand like what they're allowed to do or say or how, you know how to act in the workforce because they just got here. They just got that

Ryan Rutan: friend that it's that friend you invited to play softball who's never played softball before and they run the bases the wrong way, right. They just, they didn't

Wil Schroter: know that at some point, everybody's got to learn. However, in my experience and I'm guessing yours as well, the folks that were kind of jerks in high school jerks in college kind of show up into the workplace is jerks as well. Right? At the same token, the people that were super ambitious up until they got to our organization are probably going to continue to be ambitious in the converse. The people who were not ambitious right? That we're kind of just motoring through things but weren't really ever like taking a step beyond kind of stay the same way. Now, some of that. Again, some of that can be shepherded taught a little bit right? You and I were talking before the show and we're saying how, uh, we've had people that come to you and say, well, I don't know how to get this done right and what do you say in return? Like man

Ryan Rutan: depends on the context, but like quite frequently it's like go google it, right? Go to youtube and go to the academy that's built into the piece of software that you're asking me questions about because the reality is the reason that I know the answer to the question that you're asking me is that I went and did that research and then I solved the problem for myself. I need you to be able to do the same thing. Um and I think that too is just kind of that that can be kind of a junior junior employee mistake where if you're used to always having someone you go to or go, I've just come out of university and when I didn't know, I always ask the professor because there's no penalty to that, right? There is a penalty to constantly asking your boss how to do your job, right, Right. And you're

Wil Schroter: being paid to do that. Yes.

Ryan Rutan: Right. So you're being paid to learn. I have no problem with you going and learning this thing. I do have a problem with you trying to shortcut that using me as the shortcut in some cases. Now there are times where if it's some specific piece of knowledge or something that I've honed over 20 or 30 years of a career. Absolute. And here's the thing you don't usually have to ask me for those things. I know that those are sharp pieces of knowledge that will be useful to you and I will impart them upon you, right? But when it's like, hey, how does this feature work in this software? I don't know. Look at the fucking manual, right? That's why they wrote it. I'm sorry. I don't have a better, softer, gentler answer for that. Like that's about as much of a jerk as I'll be, but like, I'm sorry. That's the answer, right?

Wil Schroter: Yeah. So like when, when people though are right at the school, right? And um, and they haven't had any reps on any of this stuff. I get it right. And so by all means that's a lot of coaching. Yeah, yeah. That's, that's a coaching moment totally makes sense. But we're really not talking about like just uh, skills level behaviors. I think we're founders, managers get really hung up is they can't distinguish behavior from skills right there. Like, hey, this person, I'm having a lot of challenges with this person and they can't step back and say, well, this is what I can teach, but this is actually what I can't teach. And I mean we have, we have gone through this exercise countless times. I can't even begin to count the number of times we've said, we really wish this person would work out. So let's have, like I said, this one heart to heart conversation and every single time we always landed in the same place, which was, you know what? It actually doesn't matter what conversation we have now, here's what I would say, we always give folks the benefit of the doubt and we always have at least two strikes. I mean, we've probably had a

Ryan Rutan: 100 strikes if we're being honest, but way

Wil Schroter: too many strikes.

Ryan Rutan: Um,

Wil Schroter: and and more often than not, by the time we get to the 2nd 3rd strike, we've already lost, right? We've already struck out, so to speak, you know, in this metaphor. Um, and what we keep overlooking and I'm pointing to ourselves. But this represents other founders as well is that we keep thinking that we are the solution to the problem, right? That if we, like I said, if we just kind of dig in far enough or or or or create some guardrails around the situation that that will solve the problem where I think founders keep getting blown up is they keep putting it back on themselves, they keep putting it back on the organization and they never actually address the problem. And I think as that starts to scale across more and more people whose problems aren't being addressed. Whether it's on the one end of ambition to the other end of toxicity. That's where things really start to get out of hand. And I think it's a huge challenge. It

Ryan Rutan: is, it is it's a big challenge. I mean, the scale piece of it. Really, really. So this is why it's important to get this right early on. So that you get indications when these things are starting to happen right? Because the better the culture is, the less of these types of conversations you're having, the more obvious they are, they they stick out right, when, when they, when they do occur, um as the organization gets bigger, um you can rely less on your own observations as the founder and then you start to rely on the rest of your team depending on what your structure looks like. This could be like middle management, this could be down to like supervisors or team leaders, right, who are the ones who will actually be having these conversations and some little or none of that man bubbling up to you. Um and again, like in the case of of a lack of ambition, there's an opportunity cost because you want that person to run harder and do more things in the case of toxicity, it's a much more dangerous problem because that can quickly spread and again without your visibility, it's it's a huge, it's a huge issue. Um and to touch on that a little further, I think that the toxicity one tends to be a little easier. I think we can after this, we can transition into talking about like kind of what we would actually do in these situations in the toxicity cases a bit easier in the, in the the ambition case it's tough, right? Because we we see potential in this person um it may not actually be there, right? As founders. The other, the other thing that we tend to have is a lot of optimism and we almost all have a ton of internal ambition and drive and therefore we're optimistic that we can somehow create that in other people through our leadership, through our, you know, through our, through our efforts through, you know, just being inspirational and motivational. And there is some truth to that, right? Because it isn't just a matter of the intrinsic value or lack of values that these people bring into the organization. The environment also has to be right, right?

Wil Schroter: So if

Ryan Rutan: you bring people into an environment where ambition isn't rewarded or recognized or even allowed, right? And you and I have both seen organizations like this and talk to founders where we realize they've created a situation where it's like you're dis incentivized from being ambitious, right? Not only does that stop an ambitious person, you can turn them toxic, right? So the environment we create does matter. So I want to be careful here that we're not simply saying that this is only the fault of the people who come through the door with the inherent behaviors that they had. That is true. Somebody walks in a jerk. They're probably gonna stay a jerk, but we have to make sure that we have that environment, particularly if you're a startup and you're employing a lot of people where it may be their first job, You know, to the point we made earlier, they just don't know yet. And so having an environment that shows them the behaviors and the actions that they should be mimicking in order to take part in a healthy culture, assuming you've created one is incumbent on the founder. And this is something we can do not to enforce change or create change, but to at least open the door to allow people to manifest the right behaviors and hopefully to minimize the damage of the bad ones. And with that said, let's talk about, okay, go ahead.

Wil Schroter: You know, I think we both witnessed this as well. Um, while a, an ambitious person isn't going to be not ambitious just because of the environment, like, you know, it's your point, if it's something where it doesn't reward their ambition, they were already ambitious, right? The behavior

Ryan Rutan: change their ambition,

Wil Schroter: they'll, they'll likely go to somewhere where they can be rewarded for. That's

Ryan Rutan: exactly right. They leave, Right? So that's the opportunity cost on both sides. So there's an opportunity cost for ambition on both sides, you've got somebody who you need to be ambitious and they're not, you're losing out. If you've got somebody who's ambitious and, and you're not giving them the opportunity to act on that ambition, you're also going to lose out, but in a different way because they're going to leave all together, they're gonna go somewhere where they're given that lane to run as hard and fast as they want in, Right? So but different risks we're talking about.

Wil Schroter: Um, we're not saying, hey, what do we do with ambitious people? Right? Like that's a whole other problem. What we're saying is if they're not ambitious or if they are toxic basically, if there's an inherent behavior that we have to try to, you know, change how changeable is that behavior. And I think part of where we see this is we see somebody being really toxic in the organization and Ryan you and I have gone through this again. We've done another episode about toxic employees. Yeah. And in in our, in our first like response was okay, let's sit down with them and let's like quell their issues, et cetera. But we missed time and time and time again. Is there shitty right now? I'm not saying our organization was perfect. It's never been perfect, right? It still isn't perfect. However, you can have an imperfect organization that amplifies shitty behavior. For sure. For sure. Right? And so I think part of what where we missed it is we said, oh, okay, this person's being shitty because we have, you know, problems in the organization. We didn't realize and it it didn't come until later until we actually removed

Ryan Rutan: them from the

Wil Schroter: organization. Was that yes, we have problems and these people make them way worse, right? We have an open wound and these people all just want to pour salt on it because that's the kind of people they are. And and look um we again, what we

Ryan Rutan: kept thinking is if we just fix the

Wil Schroter: marriage, then you know, the spouse will, you know, come with it. And it's like no, the marriage just broken and partially because of the spouse. So, so what do we do about it? Right? If if we've got somebody that we can't seem to kind of change the behavior, the only actual change that we can make, which is 100 times harder is to get rid of them, right? And by the way, an unpopular response. Also something not easy to do. You know

Ryan Rutan: what I mean? It's not, it's it's it's always a hard decision. I think that's one of the reasons that you know, we do go to that 2nd 3rd, 4th, 5th 12th strike is that we don't want to have to make that decision, right? We it it hurts, it hurts us because um again, we may be losing an asset that we wanted, but we realize has other costs that we're not willing to absorb to the organization, right? Like they may be a great performer. And we've said this quite specifically to people like your performance is great. Your actions within the company. Your behaviors are not and we don't tolerate that. We do not allow performance to outweigh your impact on the emotional well being of the business. Alright. That's not okay, Right? So you run into these situations where you have to make the hard decisions. So you're looking at it going, man, I don't want to lose the performance of this individual. But we've got to lose the other baggage and problems that came with them. And we tried and they're not willing to put down the suitcases. So you're gonna have to take your baggage and go elsewhere. Comes back to ego again. Right? We hired this person. Why didn't we see this? Why didn't I know I want this to work for myself, right. And that's a hard thing to get over to particularly early stage where you know, you're you're scrutinizing every decision. And so is everybody else in the organization because it's small enough that they still can Right? If you're hiring and firing the 500th employee, very few people who aren't like immediately attached to that person are going to pay any attention to that. If you're hiring and then firing employee number four, You bet your asked the other two people are paying attention like why did this happen? You just reduced our team size by 25%. Right? That's a big deal. And so it's a tough decision. But let's get to the other side of that in all of these cases will what has the outcome been when we went from toxic person. We did all the things we felt like we needed to do to play it out and then we removed them. What was the outcome?

Wil Schroter: It solved the problem like 10 x faster, Right? So you know, let's say we're at a point in the business, we've been around for 10 years. We had a point in the business where, you know, something wasn't working well and people were getting up in arms about it. Typically what would happen is whoever whoever the toxic person was, which by the way, I'm gonna I'm gonna keep coming back to this was toxic in their last relationship being the last place they went and now that we watched was toxic in every other company they went to since us. Right? So it this is one of those things were like, huh? Um Yeah, we had problems but holy cow, they're putting gas on the fire. And again, it's not entirely their fault. They're just taking was already a tough situation and making it 100 times worse. Every single time that we had to part company with them over. So much consternation to get there. We were like, huh, this problem just got a lot easier, a lot faster. The problem to your point is it's not easy to do that. I mean, it's not theoretically it is theoretically you can sit down with somebody on any given day in part company. The reality of unwinding these things is much much different. Way more complex, Way more emotional, etcetera. But what we're talking about is there is a point where you look at the problem and you have to ask yourself as a manager, as a founder, Whatever your situation is, what would the problem look like if this person weren't making it worse, Right? If everyone's upset with how things are going, direction of company, whatever it is, you know, that people are complaining about at happy hour,

Ryan Rutan: it's a startup. There are tough times, right? And there will be times where everybody's complaining a little bit and that's okay, right? Like it's right. It's it's and it it happens and that's okay, right? It's the it's the magnifier that becomes the problem,

Wil Schroter: you know, by the way, I just want to mention if what we're talking about today sounds like the kind of discussion you wish you were having more often, you actually can, you know, we're online all day everyday working through

Ryan Rutan: exactly these types of topics with founders, just like you.

Wil Schroter: So any question you would have, or maybe some problem you just want to work through. We're here and we love this stuff and we're easy to find, you know, head over to groups dot startups dot com and let's just start talking so fundamentally right? Like what we've learned is there are certain behaviors you can't manage. And therefore all you can actually do. The only action item is to replace those people to take the toxic people out of the organization or gets less toxic if you find that you're creating all of these guardrails around somebody, oh, we're going to put them under, you know, a different report to a different person or you're going to take on a different role. There's gotta be a point where you zoom out and say if this person was super cool and so fun to work with pleasant kind, you know what have you would be making the same

Ryan Rutan: move. We yeah, I mean I think the the intent there is that like right? We can we can protect them from themselves. We can protect the organization from them. We just haven't found quite the right spot for them. Like at some point you can keep moving them around the garden. But if it turns out they're just a weed. There isn't a place where you want that to grow and you just have to cut bait and just deal with it. Right? And yeah, it's hard. It sucks every time. And it's funny to me that it sucks every time because there have been some people in the organization's not necessarily this one in past organizations. There was one where like this person's treatment of other humans, then this is not our organization by the way. This is this is many organizations prior where there was an instance where this person was actively shouting like probably every three days at some of his subordinates. I mean like shouting, shouting. This is also in a foreign country. So some of these behaviors were a little more tolerated. I wasn't from that country and I came from a place where that is not tolerated and literally like thought of like going to the point of coming to blows with this person over their treatment of these other people, right? There's just some things you, you you absolutely can't tolerate, right? And and they're, they're toxic to the point where they're, they're dangerous and it just has to be dealt with. And yet, and yet even then in the moment where I pushed the decision to end this person's relationship with the company, it still didn't feel good. It never does. This guy was quite literally the biggest jerk, maybe the biggest jerk I've ever encountered and definitely the biggest jerk I've ever had to work with. And even then like it's a shitty decision because you're changing somebody's life for at least a period of time now he earned it, he deserved that. And then some, but it still doesn't feel good

Wil Schroter: agreed. And and so it creates this friction. And so the behavior persists again. We talked about the other end of the spectrum, The Ryan, we talked about the, the end of the spectrum around ambition,

Ryan Rutan: right?

Wil Schroter: I want this team to really go for it. I want them to work harder. Um Ryan in your career. Did someone sit down with you and say Ryan, you are totally shiftless. You suck. Now here's what I'm gonna tell you to work harder, ambitious people don't need that Pep talk, right? Unambitious people need the pep talk, right? Ambitious people are, are either giving the pep talk or already doing what they're supposed to be doing to not warrant it, right? And that's the part we keep missing were like, well, you know, if I just managed harder, if I show the team that they should work harder, I'm telling you if their personality was such that that they need to be told to work harder, you've already lost. Yeah, that's the problem. I've shared

Ryan Rutan: this story before, but I have the antithesis, right? I was told that I was being too ambitious.

Wil Schroter: No, that's my point, right? And

Ryan Rutan: and and not incorrectly, right? Because my ambition was, was starting to be imposed upon people around me, right? And and and that's not fair. It wasn't fair. I've told the story before. It was, it was when I was the coach of the captain of the high school soccer team and I was setting the level of expectation for what people should be doing, how hard they should be training, how late they should be staying after practice and running all of these things and saying it's okay for me to push you and expect you to do that because I'm doing more than that. I'm even more ambitious. So I'm not even asking you to be as ambitious as I am. I'm just asking you to be more ambitious than you are now. I have no right to do that also, it didn't help, it was de motivational people just looked at me like I was a jerk because in that moment I was luckily I got that learning moment early on and, and, and you know the coach pulled me aside and kind of gave me the anti pep talk around like look, you stay motivated, you do your thing, but like it has to end there. You're not going to change their behaviors for the better, what you're doing right now stands a high chance of changing it for the worse. But what you're doing now is not going to have a positive impact on that organization and so we have to be very careful there,

Wil Schroter: I think, you know Ryan, if we think about it, what we have to recognize is that we're managers were not people's parents, right? The parenting was supposed to have been done already. You know, you and I are both parents, we both have this raw clay that is our Children that we have to work with and part of its nature just who they're kind of came out of the woman who they're meant to be and part of its nurture, you know, where we dig in his parents and try to teach our values and hopefully, you know, do something positive. Yeah,

Ryan Rutan: but some of its pleasure, some of it is very much steel, right? And that's just inherent personality and traits and finds that they have that aren't going to change, right? That's just them.

Wil Schroter: And so you know what, what, where we get thrown off as, as managers is that we think that we're gonna be able to pick up the torch. This person just graduated college and you know, they were fairly unambitious. Their, their parents gave them everything and I'm going to somehow take the time to unwind all of those behaviors and turn them into this. You know, this, this prodigal person kind of not going to happen. Yes, you can inspire, right? But generally speaking, if we're talking about where the best use of our time is, It's to find people, we can accelerate if we're spending all of our time trying to 1 80 people's personalities. It's not only a huge waste of time, It's generally not going to work enough that it's going to get us where we want to be anyway. Yeah, we'll make a 5% change what we need,

Ryan Rutan: right? Yeah. It's, it's kind of like with, with real estate or a lot of things you win on the by right, right. This all starts at the point of higher. Um, and you know, we've, we've done a lot of this in the last couple of years, I've shifted almost completely to this model where I project before I hire. Um, and it solves for a lot of these problems, right? It turns out that like even jerks can be super cool during an interview and, and, and a welcome dinner and all that. Um, and then the crazy comes out a few weeks later. Right? And so also just from an ambition and skill standpoint, like the skills testing is obviously part of it, but really, really, you know, I'm looking at somebody's resume, I'm looking at where else they've worked. I have a fairly decent understanding of what they should be capable of when they come in the door's, that's not really what I'm testing for. I'm actually testing for personality and I'm, I'm again, I'm looking at that, where do they fit on that? Like, you know, jerk to, to, to, you know, perfect, perfect specimen. And where are they on the ambition scale? Right? When given a project, do they get it done on time? Do they exceed it? Do they, do they try to push beyond? Do they ask me questions about ways to make it better? Right. I'm looking for that ambition. I'm looking for that sense that this person is going to start here and they're going to be someone who with my help and my permission will be able to ascend within the organization and that's what we look for, right? And that's, that's sort of the, the solution to this problem in a lot of cases, it's just make sure you actually know who you're bringing on the team to the extent possible before you bring them on team? Not always possible, but in the cases where it is boy has it helped me and saved me a ton of heartache from bringing on that wrong person. Having to go through fighting my own ego around the decision of letting them go, spending a lot of time trying to fix a problem that deep down I know I can't fix, um, and just wasting a lot of my time. And to be fair, there's right, right. It just doesn't work out well for anybody.

Wil Schroter: So I think, you know, kind of when we're separating things, we could look at a situation with someone that, that we're dealing with in the organization. And I think a simple question you could ask Is my parenting or managing, right? I mean, if you really think about that, right, um, parenting is, is when I'm dealing with just behaviors, right? Like I said, this person is kind of a jerk in the meeting or this person just, you know, clocks out every day at 5:59. Um, and has no interest whatsoever in working harder. I'm not going to like change that, right? I could, I could force them to work harder, but the person I'm looking for and I'm not suggesting everyone has to work crazy hours, but the person I'm looking for is just doing it by instinct, right? They've done it their whole lives right? When someone said, hey, something needs to get done, they weren't like I'm out of hours, sorry, can't get done right there. Just like sounds like a monday problem to

Ryan Rutan: me boss. Yeah,

Wil Schroter: thanks. I'm not going to have a parent moment that says, well, you really do need to work harder than everybody else in order to achieve the things that you want in your life and all of your dreams. Like mom and dad should have done that a long time ago, right? If they missed on their part, I don't have time to kind of make up for that. I'm looking for the person that already figured that out. That's how they're built or they

Ryan Rutan: can absorb that by observation, right? They can see that the behaviors of the people around them, founders included. But the other people on the team are excelling because of what they're doing or because of what they're not doing and then take those actions, right? It's, it's, it's ambition, its capability, it's personality and, and it's some self reliance and initiative, right? That you're looking for there and the people that have that I have it, right. The people that you don't

Wil Schroter: write

Ryan Rutan: it was there right now. It may have been dormant in some cases again because we've employed a lot of really young folks right out of university, some of them before they were out of university started working for us, right. That came out as interns and then eventually took a full time position. We're talking about people who don't understand any of this environment and I don't want to beat a dead horse as we talked about this, but that is absolutely part of it. And so there will be a few moments that may feel like parenting, right? And that's okay to the extent that that person is still in a situation that's were there at a point in their life or their career where there's an expectation that maybe they just haven't learned that yet, right? And again, giving people the benefit of the doubt, maybe they've just never come across that. But if I have to tell brian a third time not to use permanent markers on the white board,

Wil Schroter: now

Ryan Rutan: I'm just repeat parenting and now it's not

Wil Schroter: okay, right?

Ryan Rutan: Like at the point where you find yourself repeatedly parenting somebody now it's a problem.

Wil Schroter: And I think when we when we zoom out on this problem, Ryan and we say, what is it that's really breaking here? I think his founders, it's we don't like the fact that there are certain things we actually can't control.

Ryan Rutan: Wait, what did you just say heretic? What did you just

Wil Schroter: say? And and so so that's that's the core of this. It's actually a bit more of a founder problem. It is that we look at these situations and we say, oh well I'm a manager. So it's my job to fix this problem no matter what. And when it becomes a personality issue. Well where we get stuck is we can't separate the two, we can't stop for a minute and say, look, this is actually something that I'm not going to solve this person, like I said, was a jerk in their last organization. They're going to be a jerk in their next organization and realizing that were painted into a corner. And for the right reasons in this case, all we can do, all we can do in these cases is part company, stop parenting and put our energy elsewhere. There's really no other way to solve this. Alright, so that was fun. But let's actually keep this conversation going. You've heard what we think about this, but you know, Ryan and I would really like to hear what you think and we're online like all day long, pretty much talking about every startup topic you could think of from fundraising, the customer acquisition to just really how to get all of this crazy startup stuff out of your head. And there's tons of other founders, just like you, they're weighing in on these topics so you'll get a chance to just hang out and meet some really smart founders were also super, super easy to find. You head over to groups dot startups dot com and let Ryan and I hear what's on your mind, let's get to know each other a little bit and let's just start having more of these conversations

Copyright © 2024 LLC. All rights reserved.