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Disagree Like an Entrepreneur

Entrepreneurs take a lot of sh*t for going against conventional wisdom. It is because they do things differently, they meet many detractors, so they get used to this environment.

In entrepreneurial organizations staff are encouraged to speak their mind, so Entrepreneurial leaders are exposed to people who “disagree” with them. Yet they lead teams whose members have “agreed to disagree” but once a decision is made, the entire organization gets behind the wheel and works their “butts off” for the common goal.

The democratic process is ill-suited to teaching leaders how to deal with people who disagree but remain on the team. I think this is the main reason for the failure of democratic elected leaders to achieve success.

Why? Candidates spend most of their time with staff and volunteers who love them. Or they make rally speeches that are not designed to take feedback. Rarely do they get have to deal with dissenting voices or team members. The ones that are not on-board get kicked off the team.

The net result is that candidates spend all their time with staffers who love them. When they take office and inherit the administration, they cannot deal with the fact that up to 49% of their team are “against” them.

Learning how to manage people who “disagree” is important because you need people around you who speak honestly and have the freedom to disagree. Learn to listen and see if they are disagreeing with you, or with what you plan to do. If it’s about what you plan to do – dig deeper and see if there are flaws in your plan that need to be fixed.

Dealing with disagreement is a critical skill that leaders need. Learn to handle disagreements like successful entrepreneurs and you will do well as a leader.

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