Someone who I have come to rely on had a set back this week that briefly threw me for a loop. I initially felt a bit upset, selfishly I felt angry about what the setback might mean for me. That feeling passed quickly. I wanted to jump in and help them overcome the issue. I felt an upwelling of loyalty and emotional empathy that I hadn’t completely anticipated.
In truth, I was honored they shared where they were at with me. Their transparency meant a lot to me. If anything it cemented my feelings for how much I wanted to continue working with them.
Loyalty and steadfastness are qualities that are crucial in startups. Feeling like you are safe enough to bring both the good and the bad to your team makes all of the difference. If you do not trust that your people will remain loyal to you even in times of turmoil you don’t have a team. It’s fine to hire mercenaries at established companies. But when something is new and nascent you are better served being surrounded by those that believe in you.
I emphasize psychological safety in my writing and on chaotic.capital’s website because I think it matters more than almost anything else. All things being equal, psychological safety is the differentiator in who survives in a startup. Having the confidence you can share your creative process matters a lot.