Should or Shouldn’t Founders Shield Teams from Bad News

Should or Shouldn’t Founders Shield Teams from Bad News

Hi this is Morgan,

As a founder, you must be bothered by a lot of negative news as you create a startup company. Will you keep the bad news to yourself or share it with your teams?

For myself, I would opt to follow Joel’s example and not shield my team from knowing any bad news. In order to establish a trustworthy and solid team foundation, Joel, a well-known startup founder, outlined the most crucial reason not to hide negative news from the team:

“Default to Transparency, withholding information puts unnecessary strain on yourself as a founder”. I completely concur with Joel’s words. In addition, I have the following additional reasons:

Face Challenges with A Sense of Crisis

I am doing the same thing as most startups, whose founders may not be ready to place excessive pressure on their staff members.

One day, though, it dawns on me that occasionally, even if you protect your members from the wind and rain like a large, sturdy tree, they might not get enough exposure to the elements, like rain and wind, to develop into strong individuals. They won’t grow into the strongest tree in the forest if they simply get sunlight.

Members of a team should occasionally be aware of the circumstances, the crises, and the problems they will face. Giving them negative news is similar to exposing the team’s weaknesses as a whole. It helps to some extent, especially when creating a marketing plan, to increase the strengths and minimize the weaknesses.

Encourage Curiosity

If the founder chooses to only share positive news with them, this may lead to a drop in curiosity. Team members must maintain a great curiosity toward all information or news linked to the product or certain campaigns when confronting something new and entering a new field, to stay motivated and alive, which will add more energy and creativity to products.

If they know their CEO will only ever share the good news with them, and they may assume you are the one who only enjoys good news, team members won’t be as interested in the outcomes and consequences for as long. This could result in distrust between team members as well as a lack of creativity and curiosity at work.

Learn from The Bad Results

Contrary to popular belief, I do not view poor outcomes as anything terrible because I can learn a lot from them, and that is precisely how I want my team to operate.

If the campaign’s metrics don’t turn out well, I’ll discuss them with my team, try to determine why, and use that information to choose which course of action is sound and which choice is not.

If customers complain excessively about bugs or UI, or UX inconveniences in my product, I will also show them during the meeting so that we can work together to find a solution and truly respond to our customers.

If our retention rate is considerably lower than anticipated, I would discuss the growth curve with the marketing team and propose some ideas.

I wouldn’t hesitate to advise my members to seek an opportunity to learn from the outcomes and perform better, even if there were potentially worse news in the future.

Strengthen Trust and Transparency

This is one of the factors that Joel also cited. How strong the communication wall is between you and your startup team, in my opinion, can sometimes directly affect the outcome of your product.

Being trustworthy and open-minded can be essential qualities for startup founders, thus all founders need to do is share both positive and negative news. Since startup teams are frequently tiny, they must devote all of their attention to creating products and deciding if they will find a market. It will assist to be truthful with your group.

What is your choice? Will you shield your team from bad news or not? Welcome to connect and discuss why?

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Founder of Gemoo. Sharing ideas and learnings about startup, dev, AI, and marketing stuff.