Why cutting yourself some slack as a first time founder or CEO can pave the way to success

February 28, 2024
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When we become a parent for the first time, no one expects us to be an expert on raising a child right away. We give ourselves plenty of space to ask for help, learn new things and share the burden with those close to us. We try very hard to be the best parent we can be, but there remains that shared cultural understanding that new parents are not perfect, and that the process of learning to be a good parent is one that lasts a lifetime.

When we become founders or CEOs for the first time, however, we’re not nearly so gentle with ourselves. We often expect our past experiences and skills to be enough already but - like being a new parent - the real lessons that shape who we are as leaders happen as we do it, not before.

Mistakes are all part of the job

The ability to admit to and learn from mistakes is a crucial one for any good founder or CEO. The path towards success is bumpy and winding and, sometimes, we may take the wrong path altogether. In situations like these, the best leaders will have the humility to recognise when the wrong path has been taken, rather than push on to save face.

A great example of this might be a company leader asking its workforce back into the office full time. If, as a result, there are mass resignations or cultural upset, the leader can acknowledge these issues and not move forward with the full-scale return. It doesn’t have to be their way or the highway, and they can admit that perhaps this choice was not the right one.

A culture of learning is learned from above

Being transparent and open about the need to always be learning trickles down from the top. If a company's top leader is comfortable with asking questions, attending training and learning new skills, the rest of the company will feel more at ease doing the same. Businesses that have imbibed learning as a part of company culture are more likely to succeed and more likely to have a happy, loyal workforce. No one is too senior or too important to learn new things.

Sometimes you’ll feel like you’ve failed

Any parent knows that, on some days, you’ll feel like you’ve not done a great job. Maybe you were late to pick the kids up. Maybe you couldn’t stop the baby from crying. Maybe another parent’s success made you feel like a failure. And yet, even during these moments, rarely do we feel like giving up altogether. We know that bad days happen to everyone, and we try afresh the next day.

As leaders, we could all do with harnessing this kind of resilient thinking. One or two mistakes do not make us a terrible founder or CEO. What makes us a great CEO is the belief in ourselves and our teams to learn from errors and to do it with good humor and humility.

At Remotify, we partner with companies and individuals that are keen to harness the positive outcomes of remote work. We make flexible work a breeze by handling the complexities for you, keeping both you and your employees happy. If you’d like to find out more about our services, book a call with our friendly team today.

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