What often fails to be mentioned in discussions about launching a start-up is trust. Trust in your product, service and most importantly in your team. To me, that’s the most crucial element for success and often the quality most downplayed or even worse, ignored.
Trusting environments are essential for success and continued innovation. I often think that the first hire for a start-up should be a creative head of HR. She or he must thoroughly understand the entrepreneur, understand the company’s mission and be adept at assembling a team of people who’ll be handed their roles, then left alone so they can set loose the expertise and talents for which they were hired.
Many start-ups fail because creators don’t trust. They wind up delaying and wasting their early capital. They spend too much time looking over their shoulders, worrying about competitors, friends, associates, sometimes even spouses and partners. They hold onto too much fear that every contact or employee will steal his or her ideas. Too much: lawyering, market research (yes you can do too much), ego, testing, worrying, non-compete agreements and hiring close friends, long time associates and other “yes” agents.
And tragically, when things go wrong, the non-trusting entrepreneur hides the problems, hoping no one will discover their failures. Not trusting others is distracting and exhausting – and that’s commercial death to the entrepreneur.
Perhaps trust is why Apple currently has the highest stock market value of any U.S. company. Apple is a company where trust and collective pride pervade the company culture. They hire the best and the brightest, set them to work and trust they’re going to make Apple shine. It’s a formula that appears to have merit. Apple enjoys an annual net income of over $38 billion, and earns $2.1 million in revenue per employee with a net income of $457,000 per worker.
Assemble and motivate the best management, advisory and staff teams possible, and then motivate and trust them. Trust and team pride results in great products and markets. That is so much greater than a single entrepreneur’s sense of accomplishment. Try it. See what you can accomplish!