Scaling Your Company in Seattle and Beyond – Seattle Panel 2019 (Diversity and Inclusion, I missed an opportunity)
Money Changes People. Talent Gravity. Core Values. Odyssey Life Plans.
Those are the things that I either talked about or were my takeaways while on the Startup Panel last night at Lane Powell. I was super honored to be on the panel that had representation from Ignition Partners, Silicon Valley Bank, Lane Powell, Early Growth, and Thinkspace!
Money Changes People: That can be true. That’s why I think it’s so important to define your core values and let those be the non-negotiables in your company. Money can make us do weird things, make compromised choices, do things that aren’t true to who we are. Money can try to make us try to grow too fast or expect unrealistic results. I think aligning the founders of a company that share similar values about money is one of the key things to grow and scale a company.
Talent Gravity: I’ve never heard this term before but I love the term. It’s the ability for a founder to attract A+ talent around themselves. If a founder can do that, they very well have a team that people want to invest in. Funding a group of super smart people is what investors are looking for. I’ve seen some amazing startup teams formed and they definitely have “Talent Gravity”. When someone says “heck ya, I want to be a part of that startup, you’re on to something great. Very likely it’s core values and company culture that draws the talent in.
Core Values: Those are the things that allow employees to make great decisions because no matter what the employee decides is best, it aligns with the core values of the company. It allows the founders to trust their employees. It’s what allows a company to scale.
Odyssey Life Plans: It’s everything to me right now. I’m breathing and talking about Odyssey Plans everywhere I go. It’s creating alignment for me and clarity. It’s making everything easier to recognize as being right to do and pursue. Sure I don’t control the outcome, but, I can at least move forward knowing that it’s right with me. When you’re looking for cofounders or investors to be a part of your company or fund your company, once they see your Odyssey Plan they are either going to self select in, or self select out. That’s the beauty of being able to share what is important to you.
** DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION (I missed an opportunity): I was asked to speak on this panel, but, one thing that I didn’t pay attention to that I wish I would have is making sure that there was good representation on the panel. Initially, when I walked into the event, I looked at the projection screen and noticed that all the people on the panel were men. Immediately, I felt awkward and uncomfortable. I feel like I let myself down by allowing the busyness of my life to not slow down and make sure that I was on a panel that had women and diversity on it. So I’m making a public commitment that I will ensure that any future panel that I speak on does have that representation. One person on my Facebook wall called me out on it and I’m glad. The outcome from this is that I’m going to be co-creating a list of women and diversity with her of awesome entrepreneurs that we will share with the Seattle area. This requirement needs to be the new normal and it is my public commitment to be an ally for this.