Startup Tip #44: Demonstrating strength


When business gets tough, sales are low and expenses to be paid, difficult client, suppliers breathing down your neck, tight deadlines, late deliveries, it is important to demonstrate strength in the face of difficult challenges.

Sometimes we confuse demonstrating strength with:

  • Loudness
  • An inability to listen
  • A resistance to seeing the world as it is
  • Being aggressive
  • Domineering
  • Fast talking
  • Manipulating others in order to get attention
  • Seeking respect, instead of earning
  • Short term wins, at expense of long-term
  • Lying
  • Winning arguments [losing people]
  • Bullying
  • Callousness
  • Policies instead of mattering
  • Unflappability

Actually demonstrating real strength is about:

  • Apologizing
  • Resisting temptation
  • Doing the right thing when no one is watching
  • Deferring to others
  • Embracing blame
  • Being loyal
  • Avoiding shortcuts
  • Telling the truth
  • Delaying gratification
  • Offering kindness
  • Being patient
  • Seeking alliances
  • Keeping your word
  • Choosing long term, sacrificing the short
  • Being successful and remaining humble about it
  • Demonstrating respect to all, not just the obviously strong
  • Reflecting and sharing credit with others publicly
  • Risking the appearance of weakness takes strength.

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