Three Things We’ve Learned About Leadership from Founding a Startup


This week, I’m going to share three things that I’ve learned about leadership as I’ve built a startup.

1) Make stops on your way to Mars
While it’s great and really important for leaders like you to set your sights really high, the team around you need specific, reachable targets that they can drive towards. So, the answer here is to think in terms of projects. Try to make your projects have a specific beginning and end date and, by thinking in terms of projects, you stay adaptable.

If you have, let’s say, a two month project then, after two months, if something has changed and you need to pivot a little bit, you can do that by establishing a new project that goes in the new direction.

2) Don’t hog people’s bandwidth
As entrepreneurs and leaders we often want to share our ideas with people; we want to get feedback; we want to see people’s reactions. But, you need to realize that constant ideation can drain your teammates. It sucks up their bandwidth and, if they’re comfortable enough with you, they might tell you that the content ideation with them can be draining.

But, oftentimes, they won’t tell you and, instead, you’ll just have teammates who are distracted and don’t have a lot of bandwidth to dedicate towards building stuff.

3) Collaborate your way to the top
Collaborations are the new strategic partnerships. These collaborations work like this: you reach out to people who know about the next phase of your business’ growth; whatever area you need to work in.

For example, LinkedIn connections and referrals to people who might know about the direction you need to go in. Those work really well. Now, once you have targeted some of these people and connect with them, get on the phone with them for a quick introductory chat. Be cool and honest and forthcoming with them about why you reached out to them.

If a genuine overlap between what you’re trying to build and what they’re doing exists, then you have the foundation of a good collaboration. Being “salesy” will kill the opportunity for you to collaborate with other people. Do not be “salesy”.

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Davis Jones

Davis Jones

Co-Owner & Head of Product at Eazl
Davis Jones is a communicator and content creator with 10 years of experience in content marketing and product management. He specializes in video course curriculum and pedagogy and is located in Chicago.
Davis Jones