I love that Stanford University Entrepreneurial Thought Leaders Podcast. Listen to just one and you'll quickly see why it's the most popular iTunes podcast on technology startups and entrepreneurship.
Greg Ballard, CEO of Glu Mobile, was one I've listened to more than once in the last month. Interestingly, he was CEO of MyFamily for a while. While Greg touched on a number of topics of interest, there was this gem on 'disagree and commit'.
Disagree & Commit
Startups, almost by definition, are a stressful place for interpersonal relationships. Low pay and long hours are hopefully made up for by your ability to have input and make a difference. Arguments and disagreements are just part of the deal. Hopefully there is a process where a decision is finally made and everyone gets on board. (It's been referred to as totalitarianism with input.)
There is an important element in any management situation, the ability to disagree but commit.
The failure to be able to disagree and commit is possibly the most corrosive and common situation that any business faces internally. Someone who can not commit to a course he doesn't agree with becomes a leper, infecting your business and management team. Greg describes what he sees as the highest quality as anyone in business can have as the ability to 'disagree but commit'.
I've been in any number of situations where I've seen this failure to disagree and commit in action. Advertising agency's are rife with creatives who love to gripe about account reps and clients. Doctors staffs discuss stupid patients, but are just as likely to criticize the physician they're working for. It's a lot easier to give lip service to agreement or get overruled and stand your ground. Hey, when it doesn't work out you can give them the old 'I know that wasn't going to work'.
If you can build a team in which disagreements can be frank, even harsh, but where once a decision is made the team can get behind it and implement without reservation, then you actually have a team.