When things are going great, it’s hard to risk. The top of the mountain feels GREAT. The wind is whipping through your hair, and there are a ton of Leonardo-Dicaprio-at-the-helm-of-the-Titanic moments. Heaven forbid we risk it all.
When you’re building a company, you’re climbing a mountain. On your way up, the victories are numerous. At every peak, you hire a new team member. It feels good to have someone to climb with you, and celebrate the victories of the peaks with you. But climbing as a pack could slow you down.
It’s hard to disrupt the status quo. It’s hard to incite change, especially in a team environment. Teams will rally to maintain the status quo, in order to build stability. Teams don’t want to risk, unless the vision presented to them clearly communicates that there is another peak, and that that peak is worth the risk of pursuit.
And if there isn’t another peak, and if there isn’t a clear vision of what’s next and how to get there, the team will crumble. They’ll set up camp and maintain status quo and instill stability for as long as possible. But the air at mountain tops is thin, and it’s hard work to live at the top of a mountain, so gradually the team will move their camp to the foothills.
The valley moments are authentic. The valley moments are hard, but the valley moments curate courage. The valley moments offer you the luxury of fearless risk.
Ultimately, what I’m saying is this: when you’ve got nothing to lose, you have everything to gain.