Leadership lessons from a conversation with a “hater”

5 leadership takeaways to remind me that true change starts with me.

After a weird conversation with the first user utilizing our web chat support tool, I reflected and concluded with some thoughts to remind myself of the influence we have with others and how important it is to lead by example. I’ve decided to share them as I thought it might be valuable for some readers.

To provide you with the full context, I’m sharing the full transcript of the conversation. The parenthesis words are my comments to clarify the context for you:

User: what does this cost? (to join our community)
Me> Hi there! This is Jose
Me> It is FREE
User: How do you pay for food?
Me> I do not understand your question.
Me> What food are you talking about?
User: what is your business model, you are listing a bunch of meetings on IH I am trying to determine how you make money (referring to revenue model instead of the business model)
User: I’ll be happy to answer you in one of our calls ;)
Me> Even on a 1:1 meeting if you want
User: there is never any charge?
User: how do you personally make money? Are you nigerian prince?
Me> We are building our Minium Viable Community
Me> Once we have this we’ll start charging
User: what does that mean?
User: Ah, so I am the product
Me> We’re building a community of early-stage tech founders to help them develop their ventures thanks to a better understanding of startup methods and best practices with mentors and P2P advice
User: how do you personally make money now?
Me> I’m sorry but that is none of your business ;)
User: Perhaps but it bears on your ultimate motivation.
Me> If you are interested in our FREE help I’ll be very happy to help you, and the other mentors too
Me> It depends on the kind of motivation as human being you have
user: When they say “It is Free” ask Who is Paying? Lee Kuan Yew
Me> There are 3 kinds (of human motivations)
Me> one is about money
Me> but not the other 2
Me> I can explain to you about human motivations in our calls
User: clearly you are a very private person and I have asked an embarrassing question. I will keep your group in mind for future use.
Me> Perfect. Thanks for your consideration!
Me> HAve a good one!

Honestly, it’s been a tricky conversation for me. It was difficult not to lose my words in some of the judgemental comments of this person. I was feeling “attacked” after the hard work we are doing to help early-stage founders worldwide at the time than trying to build a viable business model for living. However, on the other side of the chat, there was a person with his culture, behaviors, and motivations, and I was telling myself how important it is to be helpful and lead by example. Reflecting on what happened in this short conversation is one of the best learnings I probably can have since we started GrowthSeeker.

My Key Takeaways

✔️ Find the facts and the reasons before judging
To be judgemental with others without understanding the underlying reasons is not favorable. But it is to understand their points and why. Once we know, we can then agree or not, according to our criteria driven by our values, culture, and life learnings. Preconceptions drive bad emotions in others that may not be positive for the goal of the conversation and actions we’re looking for in others.

✔️ Understand and capture your emotions
Maybe I was a little bit arrogant in the part of the human motivations conversation. I think the feelings erased in that comment. Next time, I would try to leave my feelings aside and understand the other person’s point.

✔️ Almost everybody has a point, even impolite people or haters
Our job as leaders is to understand in positive what we can learn from those comments while leading with good behavior and ethical values. I’d like to know better what was on the mind of this person, why does he think we are scammers.

✔️ The change is on ourselves, not in the others
We can blame others of our state of mind and emotions, but the change starts with us. We can not change others’ behaviors and values. However, we can work on being a better version of ourselves, behaving with empathy, trying to conciliate, understand, and help others grow.

✔️ Remember the influential power we have
We have the power to influence up to three degrees of human connections. Our actions may influence our friends, friends of friends, and friends of friends of friends. The only way to help others improve is to be the best version of ourselves, learn, grow, and lead by example to influence in the right direction.

All of us are influential leaders for others with our everyday actions and behaves. We can build a better human society together by being accountable for what values and behaves we are manifesting to others during our short lives.

The true change starts with yourself (me). Lead by example.

Please, if your find this article helpful, help me sharing with others. I’d appreciate it.


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