5 tips for improving your startup company
Know the seven things that make companies more productive and employees happier. Whether a company is ethical or unethical is determined by the people at the top, so set a good example. Employees are treated as partners, not underlings, at the best places to work. Hiring women and hiring them early is correlated with startup success. Make sure your team members get to leverage their signature strengths to increase “flow” in the office. Know how to make all those meetings bearable. People get more boring work done in the office and more creative work at home. Face-to-face matters; relying too much on tech for communication can have negative effects. “The teams that touched the most cooperated the most, and won the most.” Company culture does affect the bottom line. Trust is worth an increase of 2.5% in annual revenue. Dave Packard’s 11 simple rules for building a civilized work environment are here. Make your workplace fun if you want to recruit.
Here are five keys to leadership. Charismatic leaders bring out our best and make us do better work. (And there are ways to be more charismatic.) The best way to motivate employees is to emphasize forward progress. Know what your team needs to be satisfied with their job. Planning your strategy? Here’s a quick version of what you need to know from The Art of War. Deadlines are good and moderate time pressure improves performance. Macho as it may sound, you can learn a few things from the Army and the Navy SEALS. Playing hostage negotiator can help too. Money and feedback are great but both work best when combined with acknowledgement of an employee’s accomplishments. Believe your team is smarter than average. Get out there and inspire.
MAKING YOU BETTER
There are 10 little things you can do every day to improve your life. One little ritual can make sure you’re at the top of your game. Turn yourself into a productivity dynamo. Always be learning. Improve your communication. Know how to increase creativity. Fight stress. Learn how to stop procrastinating now. Understand the best way to set and achieve goals. Stop the allnighters — it will negatively affect your performance. (But if you’re going to be stubborn and stay up at least understand the best way to use coffee.) Manipulating context is the optimal way to improve yourself.
Dealing with venture capitalists? Know how to negotiate. Understand the best way to give a presentation. Know what makes great salespeople great. It doesn’t matter if you didn’t go to college. “Our findings suggest venture capitalists evaluate more favorably opportunities represented by entrepreneurs who “think” in ways similar to their own.” Networking is vital and here are great ways to do it. Honestly, it might be better to not take VC money at all.
The most creative teams are a mix of old friends and new blood. Teams benefit from a mix of women and men. What makes teams smart is social skills, not IQ. 5-to-1 is the magic ratio. The most successful teams had 5 positive interactions for every negative one. This is also the same ratio that made for happy marriages. It’s true that a team is only as a strong as its weakest link. Trustworthiness is the quality people most desire in others. The best predictor of team success in the workplace is how the members feel about one another. In a choice between working with a lovable fool and a competent jerk, people almost always choose the lovable fool no matter what they say they want. The secret to team morale is a good story. And don’t worry about those silly team-building exercises.