As an entrepreneur, it is both a privilege and a tremendous responsibility to build a company–often from mere ideation all the way to IPO.
A successful and fulfilling life, much like a business, offers many roads by which to travel. Some are filled to the brim with heartache yet, miraculously, overwhelming joy. While others fall prey to the fiery pit of misery and self-effacing failure. Truth be told, most of the outcomes have to do with the choices we make; and subsequently how we choose to react to things that are thrown our way.
So, if you’re going to spend half your adulthood building a business, how can you avoid turning both your soul and your life’s work over to the devil? Because as much as modern culture–obsessed with relativism and moral indifference–will tell you the two can be compartmentalized, I beg to differ.
We do not choose how, when, where, and in which environment we grow up. But as we mature into self-actualized adults, it is in our best interest to question beliefs and biases we have developed about people, places, and things. Fortunately for us, we don’t live in the 1950s anymore in terms of many of the “isms”–racism, sexism, you name it. It’s not perfect, but we have evolved. Subsequently, providing a platform for discourse about the modern day workplace, and how our “unconscious bias” affects our ability to grow and thrive, is one of the most important ways to avoid the killer behavior of building a one-dimensional company. Kool-aid was always bad for you.
The antidote? A variety of professional training resources exist along the lines of “diversity in the workplace” and “uncovering hidden bias.” Do yourself and your organization a favor and invest in one or two of these trainings. If you’re a tiny startup, then (in the very least) circulate reading materials or talk openly about how to avoid unconscious bias as you grow and scale your company.