Today I had a great opportunity and experience. I received “therapy-like” personal growth advice from Andy Fleming. I reached out to him with a dilemma around picking startup co-founders and some of the situations I have run into in prior partnerships. I needed some guidance to identify if my behaviors were the cause or if the prior situations were more technical in nature. I have enjoyed working with every partner I have had, but in some occasions our goals and priorities were not well aligned from the specific opportunities. Some of the startup ideas also had limited potential.
Andy ran through a process developed by Robert Kegan, author of Immunity to change, where we discussed the “personal” situation in the following categories and order:
1) List an improvement goal
2) What am I doing and not doing to undermine the goal?
3) What worries and fears do I have if I change the behavior in step 2?
4) What hidden commitments do I have as they relate to step 2?
5) What big assumptions do I have regarding the worries and hidden commitments?
The exercise took about an hour, it was very insightful, and helped me clarify a lot of internal worries. With Andy’s help, I was able to identify deeply engrained behaviors I have been doing for many years that are preventing me from achieving the goal.
So what was the goal in step 1? To create stronger more lasting reciprocal relationships.