Everyone Needs a Little Help

Think of the word VP. What descriptors come to mind? What about CEO? Here are some that I usually think of:

- Powerful
- Authoritative
- Remarkable
- Smart
- Intentional
- Tough

Every time I look for a new job, I view it with an increasing amount of scrutiny. I try to work for companies that solve problems I've seen in past positions. For example, after seeing conflict and chaos render companies inefficient, I decided it was important to have focused and decisive executive leadership wherever I go.

Now that I'm headed off to another adventure (Hubspot), I realized I missed a key element in my search: I want my leaders to be self aware. More specifically, I want them to acknowledge their weaknesses and to listen to others-especially those who are strong where they're weak.

I (and I suspect, many others) have a tendency to think VPs and CEOs are somewhat superhuman. The fact is, they're not. It's a lonely, stressful job and aside from that, they can only think and act in the way that they've been programmed because they're human. A Sales CEO may tend to be naturally gregarious, outgoing, impatient, and great at communicating. A Technical CEO may be more detail-oriented, abstract in their thinking, focused, and careful. Whatever the combination, humans always lack where they excel. 

When running an entire company, it's imperative that leaders acknowledge their weaknesses and find others to balance them out. Not only does it make companies more efficient (you can execute on all left and right brain ideas instead of just one combination), it builds a more diverse culture and employee base where openness and diversity of thought is a value. And what could be better for building great products?

On to fall leaves, chowder, and snow. I'm going to miss you California.