Julie Zuzek “the Corporate Yogi” and I have been friends for nearly a decade, and I have often tried to apply her approach to the “entrepreneur mindset” over the course of my own founder journey. I had a chance to recently listen to her podcast series on co-founders.
Julie’s compete podcast series can be found here: (http://www.thecorporateyogi.com/podcast/ ) and to listen to the series on co-founders, check out the following links:
Part 1: http://bit.ly/2qq4IJT
Part 2: http://bit.ly/2psD0Lv
Part 3: http://bit.ly/2qj1J8t
This series on co-founders also shares the stories and successes of two sets of co-founders who are interviewed over the course of the series. After listening to the series, I had a chance to reflect and had a few thoughts:
1. The co-founder dynamic is both fragile and powerful;
2. Third party coaching is much less expensive than a founder breakup, and can uncover techniques to help co-founders/senior executives to interpret each other and to communicate with one another;
3. People dynamics are fluid and go through periods of “more honesty” and “less honesty”; and
4. Mutual respect and having fun (versus job advancement/wealth creation) make the journey worthwhile.
The third item above – co-founder/executives as fluid dynamics, caused me the most discomfort, as it was a reminder that your co-founders/senior executive relationships are a constant work-in-progress. People are constantly surprising, and of course the most important people on your team can also cause the greatest and most impactful (positive and negative) surprises.
Having discussed this topic of fluid founder dynamics with hundreds of members of our group Founder’s Only, I have found consensus that recruiting and finding the right partner at the co-founder/executive level is a difficult milestone on the road to entrepreneurship. This is a worthwhile and pleasant set of interviews guiding company founders/co-founders or executives to navigate this difficult road.