Be fearless

Sam Altman’s tweet hit my feed this morning and one point in particular hit a nerve.

The last one: ‘don’t let conflict fester’ is the big one. My friend Jerry Colonna recently gave a leadership talk at a recent event we organized and brought home what it means to be fearless as a leader.

And being fearless means direct dealing in a respectful way and without personal attacks. 

Too often we try to avoid conflicts, simply hoping tomorrow will be better or frankly that there is only 10 fucking minutes left in this meeting. 

But conflict avoidance isn’t being fearless. It’s not fair to you, the person you are managing or to the rest of the team. I learned this the hard way. 

I had an easier time managing conflicts when I worked in startups than transitioning to a board member/investor. Getting the balance right of being a partner to the CEO/founders can be tricky even in the best of times. 

But Sam and Jerry are totally right. Get comfortable being respectfully direct and don’t let conflicts fester.

Be fearless.