To be fair, I think this might apply to bigger companies as well, not only to startups. However in my mind it will always be linked to the startup scene because that’s where I’ve seen how destructive this attitude can be.
Here are a few examples of things that were preached as “The way we do things around here” and at the same time disregarded by everybody:
- Pareto rule of 80/20 -> there was no prioritization, we “focused” on everything
- Agile/Sprints -> in reality management would change their mind about the features every two days #featureCreep
- Lean approach -> people waited until to launch a project until the project got canceled.
And I could probably go on…
The issues I’ve noticed so far that come out of this behaviour are:
- Employees will lose trust in your leadership and authority
- Employees will get frustrated when you mess with their expectations
- The team will be confused and morale will go down
My advice: be consistent. You can always change your principles BUT make sure that your team knows about these changes.
I’m telling you all this because I believe that changing your behavior starts by acknowledging the impact of your actions. I also think that changing your behavior can be as simple as changing your perspective. Thus I challenge you to go think about your actions. Do you practice what you preach?
What do you think you about my idea? Did you ever see this happening in your company? How did that make you feel?
Photo by Mario Mencacci, used under CC