“Knowing thyself” is also imperative to authentic leadership. Said another way, self-awareness is a precursor of authenticity.
We meet lots of founders - almost all of whom are smart. In fact, they are very smart. The type of smart that can be filed under what we know as IQ (or Intelligence Quotient). However, an even more important factor in growing a company into a long-term success is EQ (or Emotional Quotient), otherwise referred to as “Emotional Intelligence.”
As the founder (and CEO) of a new company (talking to startup founders here, but this can also apply to seasoned CEOs) — your job is not just to focus on growing your business, you must also focus on growing yourself.
What we bring to work depends on our own health and well-being. For founders, this is critical, since the entire operation is depending on you.
OK - someone has to say it: Boasting how little sleep you’re getting, how many hours you’re working per week, and how many tasks you can handle at one time isn’t a badge of honor. In fact, it could be costing you success. And that is not our opinion, it is science.
If you have ruthlessly prioritized, and time-blocked for, an important planning session, but come to the meeting depleted of energy and off your game - you are certainly not setting yourself, team or company up for success.
If you don’t control your calendar, it will control you. And you will spend the majority of your time on defense, reacting to whatever you get hit with when you check your phone or walk into work in the morning - meetings, fire drills, people issues, investor requests, etc.
A lot of people say they don’t have time to read. But as a founder, you are being asked not only to run a company, but to improve yourself and shape yourself into the best leader you can be. That inevitably comes with some learning.
You’ve likely heard of executive coaches or life coaches —but at FounderForward, we’re focused on coaching startups. Founders and founding teams at the beginning of their journey.
At FounderForward, we strongly suggest that all the clients we work with adopt a Gratitude Habit. On more than one occasion our suggestion has been met with an eye-roll and a comment about it being a bit “woo woo.” That is until we explain that there are countless benefits to developing a Gratitude Habit — and that most are rooted in science.