Forget right, wrong, good or bad reasonings. There’s just reasonable reasonings for new generation startup leaders and teams.

I just had a good discussion with a long time friend and collaborator. By good, I mean the discussion was quite colourful. By colourful, I mean there was heated moments and conversations that went to and fro between English, Hokkien and some “passionate” expressions, albeit they were not directed at each other.

First thing first

The topic of team culture and the right mental posture for startup leaders and team members is one that is high on my mind. How do we create a happy, highly collaborative, motivated and dynamic learning team? Sounds like a mouthful for spelling productivity. It’s more than that. It’s about fulfilling the destiny of the team.

You see, my friend and I were discussing about how we are going to work together closer. Even though we’ve known each other for a long time and also worked together before, we cannot assume that we are aligned with every ideas and ideals that we have.

To assume that we need not communicate “profusely” just because we knew each other very well would be naive.

After the discussion, he drove me home and we had another short 15 minutes chat before I got off the car. I’m touched and inspired by one alignment that we both know and yet took the time to articulate it again with each other.

It’s the fact that both of us are the type of person that prefer straight honest opinions from each other. We should not be afraid to speak our minds with each other. I think this is a simple and yet important attitude to have, albeit it’s not one that is prevalent in the Asian culture. The benefits however, are immense.

Not only will we learn more from each other, we also set ourselves up to think and break out of our own box. So how good is that? Good is an understatement. It saves lives - instead of wasting them.

The massive danger of ego

Ego plays a part. It always want a part. Business leaders that wants to continue to grow has to be really careful about putting this in check. Do not embrace ego. There’s simply no place for that in new generation businesses for one simple reason, which is also chief of all - it stops you from learning.

One has to learn from different sources and people of all ages and culture. In a hyperconnected globalised world, this can never be over emphasised. A closed mind that is unable to do so becomes irrelevant quickly.

What should a progressive collaborative environment be based upon?

A friend of mine said to me recently, “it’s very hard for unicorns to work together.” I agree but it’s not impossible. I’ve had good working relations and great mutual respect with unicorn collaborators. But some went bad as well.

I found that the successful ones have always been based on reasonable reasonings. In other words, people working together are willing to listen to reasonings with each other so as to understand the merits within those reasonings.

It also means to have the willingness and understanding that we can be wrong despite our experience. Experience plays a part, but it’s not a first class citizen in a team that is setup to be dynamic, motivated and progressive.

This produces an environment where even a junior staff is not afraid to bring up his or her ideas and back it by reasoning. And people should not be judged for speaking their minds.

Forget right, wrong, good and bad reasoning

Yes, you read it right. This is a fundamental thinking shift that I believe is necessary for new generation thought leaders. There have been so many times that business ideas that’s thought to be right became wrong just after a short while. The reverse is also true.

In a world of accelerated disruptions, old dogmas and established principles are constantly being shown to be irrelevant.

Bad reasonings exist and no one is immune to making them. But if a person allows himself to be open minded and reasonable, it becomes possible for others to help eradicate any bad reasonings. Wouldn’t such a person be enlightened and elevated in a short time?

Wouldn’t such a business unit be so progressive and powerful?

Rights and wrongs are based on what works and what doesn’t. What works and what doesn’t are constantly changing.

Embrace reasonable reasonings.


Now read this

The Story that Became the Vision

This is my short story. Albeit with some reluctance, I think it’s a good time for me to share about the underlying drive for me all these years - doing what I’ve been doing, coming to where things are right now. I share this as a founder... Continue →