Should a company embrace vulnerability? How can startup founders become great managers? Hampus talks about the radical idea of sharing deeply personal details in the team to build a great company culture.
Hampus Jakobsson has done over 60 investments and has a great deal of experience with managers and what the challenges are when trying to be the best manager you can be.
In his experience the hardest part in early stage startups is, that the people who started the company are usually great craftsmen and visionaries but not necessarily good managers. In his mind, a startup's culture failed when team members start saying "them" when referring to other people in the team. If that's the case, then the managers failed to realize that the team IS the product.
Embracing vulnerability and ensuring that team members speak their mind both on a professional level but also on a personal level, is according to Hampus very important when trying to build a team:
"I think I just realised that vulnerability is not weakness. Vulnerability is courage. Like when people say “I wanna be CFO” maybe the main reason is because my ex said that I can never hold a position and everything. And I really want to prove to her, to myself, to the world that I can be the CFO of this company."
"And everybody in the team can say like “Man, yeah, my god, we’re gonna support you 100%!”. Because suddenly they know. You don’t wanna be the CFO to shove somebody else out. You want to be the CFO because you got like a bad feeling about yourself. We’re gonna build that person of you, we’re gonna make you great! And then everybody in the team wants you to be successful."
Creating a forum for this kind of openness is something Hampus tried himself at one of his earlier companies, where they had "How you feel dinners" on a frequent basis, which he had great succes with. Check out the podcast and hear more.