I’m bad at the #1 thing you need to succeed in a startup culture

Change is good. Change means progress. Change means you learned something new and took action. Being open to change is the #1 thing you need to succeed in a startup culture… and was also my biggest kryptonite when I first started at Social Tables.

My struggle with change stems from my mindset of always wanting to be “right.” I used to think that change meant you were wrong the first time, and you had to go back to change (correct) your mistake. Take that mindset, add a healthy dose of stubbornness, and you’ve got a recipe for a startup employee disaster.

Thankfully, Dan Berger created a culture of embracing change at ST: Fail fast and often. Every Day is a school day. Yes if. High risk, high reward. Constant innovation. Our culture rewards and values change, which didn’t give me any option other than to… change.

This being so, so what?

I used to do things “right” once and move on without looking back. I did it right the first time, so why would I need to change it? It’s already right! I though change could only make things worse. Lucky for me, every day is a school day at ST, and I learned that every moment is a learning opportunity.

Looking at every data point and asking yourself “What did this teach me?” or “Knowing this, what can I change?” have become critical to how I approach everything.

Feedback is a gift.

Looking at your own work and making a change is step 1. Being able to accept feedback from others is step 2.

Feedback is often interpreted as someone telling you you’re wrong or you don’t know what you’re doing. This is where my stubbornness and resistance to change is the most dangerous.

You have to love, crave, and appreciate feedback. When I realized truly accepting feedback was the biggest block to my personal and professional development, it took a focused effort to break my natural response of arguing with feedback.

Now, every time I get feedback, the first thing that triggers in my head is “thank you.” Thank the person who is trying to help you get better. The perspective is priceless, and you’re lucky he or she cares enough to help you improve.

What got you here, won’t get you there.

Now I’m addicted to change. If things aren’t changing, I get uneasy. If we aren’t changing our goals, strategies and tactics on a regular basis, that means we aren’t learning and improving. When I start to feel comfortable, I know it’s time to change.

custom graph backed by lots of science and research showing what your comfort level over time should look like at a startup

In a fast-growing company, flexibility and adaptability are an advantage over your established competitors. To be a top performer in an environment focused on growth, learning to change as the company grows is key.

To read more about the culture we are building at Social Tables, check out our culture blog: https://culture.socialtables.com/