Feedback & Mentorship
Getting feedback and working with mentors is arguably one of the best ways that you can improve your career and whatever you happen to be working on. Seeking such advice may at first seem daunting, but this section has resources to help you.
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Most of the time the entrepreneur will have a better feel for their product vision than the VC will. But there are times when what the entrepreneur is doing is not working and the VC will have to figure out how to get the entrepreneur to see that. I have learned to trust the entrepreneurs instincts until it is very clear I should not. Finding that line is art and not science and takes a lot of experience. And I still get it wrong from time to time.
The great leaders I know are vulnerable. Maybe not to everyone, maybe not all the time, and maybe not in all contexts. But the allow themselves to be, simply, themselves. Human. They allow others in. They know they can be wrong. They know they can fail. And they know they can improve. Vulnerable.
Don’t be a grin fucker. Stop the corporate bullshit when it hits your desk. You don’t have to do it as publicly and vocally as I did – in fact I don’t recommend it. But please be willing to politely and respectfully stand your ground when an internal initiative is off base or you don’t agree with it. I’ve stated previously that I believe that respectful open debate is the highest form of democracy. It also makes good business sense. Stand for high quality. Stand for holding people accountable when they’re proposing something you believe could damage the company’s reputation or waste time and resources. Make your arguments fact based. When people come to present their businesses to me I try my best not to grin fuck them. I give direct, honest, blunt, polite and (I hope) useful feedback. It isn’t always “rah rah.”