Knowing Your Selfish Motivations
The biggest lesson I've learned in entrepreneurship is that you can't do everything.
As an internal leader, the most important thing I can do to make Impact Hub Seattle into a success is hire for my weaknesses, and then make sure that I wake up every day asking myself two questions:
1) What can I do to clear a path for my people?
2) How can I further work myself out of a job?
One quick example: Working in the social sector can be tough, because you have long hours and big demands coupled with mediocre monetary compensation. Many times, the people who choose to work in the social sector do so because they truly care about the mission - but as a leader, it's important to remember that no one is 100% altruistic, and if you don't remember that your team members are people with personal ambitions and goals, you may run the risk of burning them out. At our annual team retreat, we ask everyone to come prepared to share their selfish motivations for working at Impact Hub with the rest of the team - their selfish motivations are the completely non-altruistic, 100% selfish reasons why they wake up every morning to do the work they do. We write them down and then post them in our office. Whether those motivations are increased speaking opportunities to expanding their current community to the ability to use Impact Hub to launch their own ventures or interests, both as a team and as internal leaders, we make sure to put each other in positions where our selfish motivations are realized on a consistent basis.