A lot of the work I do with Millennial startup leaders focuses on team—helping teams communicate more effectively, build productive norms, overcome conflict, and grow their leadership and followership capabilities. I love the work because no two teams are identical. Helping each one is a process of listening, fact-finding, and learning for me as well as for them. And though I love the work for this variety, I also love it because there are patterns. There are certain dynamics that play out again and again that enable me to help people swiftly and powerfully.
One such pattern has been on my mind a lot recently and it is: the propensity for first- and second-time founders to found with close friends or family. It’s something that has been staring me in the face with a number of clients. It was also a significant component of a Noam Wasserman “Founders’ Dilemmas” talk I recently attended. And beyond all that, it has been a huge part of my own business for the past year (my brother and best friend Andrew came on board as a partner a year ago).
While I find the decision to found with your inner circle intriguing, the things most dominating my mindshare are the long term challenges facing those people who have already made this choice—people like many of clients and myself.