I have been doing a lot of thinking lately about the desire to be part of a team. Let’s call this “Team Desire”. Some people have it. Some people don’t. Some VCs have it and some don’t. Some have it more than others. I would think that all CEOs have it, and if they don’t they should consider switching titles.
Being part of a team…….hmmmm. Do those that have Team Desire have some need to feel included? Maybe. Do those that have Team Desire have some need to be recognized? Maybe. Do those that have Team Desire have a need to feel reassured? Maybe. On these 3 questions, my general thought is “who cares.” These are not overly healthy aspects of Team Desire, but I am sure they exist often.
I have Team Desire. This applies to my role as a VC and in many other aspects of my life (like my soccer team or my group of skiing buddies). In my VC role, there are at times conflicts between being on the company team and, well, being a VC. Some CEOs see those conflicts as apparent too often (in my view) and some don’t. Some VCs might see those conflicts as apparent too often and others surely don’t. When things at a company are not going so well, the conflicts are more apparent.
Personally, I get over the real conflicts and apparent conflicts by knowing that certain rules of the VC dynamic are not changeable and not worth arguing about too much. VCs fund companies. Investors have lots of “say”. VCs need to be treated like important shareholders and spoon fed constant information by the CEOs of portfolio companies. VCs have board reps and the board controls the company. Plain and simple rules. I take these rules for granted. Once I do that and hope that others on the team do also, then becoming part of the functioning team is pretty easy. Team Desire wins. It becomes easier to help and have the help accepted. While the CEO cannot fire the VC from the board, the CEO can and should fire the VC from the inside team if the VC is not playing like a team member. I think that most VCs actually want to play on the team for the right reasons and advance the cause dramatically.
At the companies in which I am involved, it is always about the team. Earning trust from management and visa versa. Working hard towards achieving goals and helping out in any way I can. If a CEO considers this intrusive, then the team is not functioning right – either it is intrusive (and that needs correcting) or the perception is misguided (and that needs correcting).
I am sure that I will continue to think about this topic more and write more about it. Team Desire is the way my mind works. Interesting topic – not that easy to write about.