20 Obvious - Soft Skills - Learnings From Our Best Founders

There are universal learnings from the best founders of our portfolio. I thought it would be worth sharing them some of them :)

  1. The best founders are able to manage both attention to details and velocity towards the highest level of performance.
  2. The best founders aim beyond 100% in everything they do (learning, hiring, managing, leading, executing…), because they implicitly understand the value of compounded effects. 95%, compounded infinitely, tends towards zero, while 105% tends to infinity.
  3. The best founders surround themselves with the smartest people they can find and interact with them to understand/learn new things and challenge their positions.
  4. The best founders learn quickly the value of hiring well and firing fast. They apply thoroughly the best hiring methods, like WHO. Not 95% of it and not stupidly without understanding the underlying principles.
  5. The best founders are obsessed with transparency, truth and honesty, they make sure not to fall into the five dysfunctions of a team.
  6. The best founders don’t do implicit management, they set explicit rules and make sure that everyone in the company is committed and accountable through the right set of OKRs. They put a lot of efforts into making them work at scale.
  7. The best founders are obsessed with customer care and how they can build sustainable (product) solutions to empower the work of their team towards building the world best experience in their category.
  8. The best founders set vision, focus and values towards their employees. Vision as the long term purpose, focus as the mid term objectives, and values as what matter in every single task people do.
  9. The best founders set explicit, unique, thorough values, not some generic ones in a blurry inspirational manifesto.
  10. The best founders manage to have an incredible amplitude in their work-life balance, they are able to deal with the intensity of their work while staying healthy and finding time for their close ones.
  11. The best founders moderately use Twitter and Linkedin, but you won’t find them much on Instagram, Snap or Facebook. They have realized that the best rewards come from achieving rather than showing.
  12. The best founders are obsessed with tracking and reflecting on relevant data. They do it on a regular basis and ask to be challenged by the best people in their industry.
  13. The best founders are humble yet ambitious, determined yet open to constructive feedbacks and remarks.
  14. The best founders always assume to be wrong by default yet never doubt. It’s how they balance convictions and beliefs with truth and reality.
  15. The best founders always ask “Why” and never jump into conclusions before they reach a decent level of understanding.
  16. The best founders, through data points and anonymous feedbacks, make sure to detect dangerous signals as soon as possible. They treat every warning with the utmost importance.
  17. The best founders are very well organised (clear agendas, inbox zero, time slots to read and learn…)
  18. The best founders document everything with clear facts and data, in their sales process, technical documentation or post-meeting notes.
  19. The best founders never settle, they keep reflecting on their own learning and execution curve, with positive honesty towards themselves and others.
  20. The best founders challenge their position and make sure to evolve in the company’s best interests and not theirs.

And the very best founders apply all of the above with compounded effects :)