The Startup Chat with Steli and Hiten on Smash Notes

The Startup Chat with Steli and Hiten podcast.

Unfiltered insights and actionable advice straight from the trenches of startup and business life. The show hosts, Steli Efti and Hiten Shah, are both serial entrepreneurs who have founded multi-million dollar SaaS startups. Being busy CEOs of fast-growing companies, they know the value of your time and make sure you get the most out of each 22 minute episode. Tune in for new episodes every Tuesday and Friday.

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In today’s episode, Steli and Hiten point out the importance of vulnerability in leadership, especially with startups. Now, more than ever before, vulnerability is an important part of building a company’s culture and is also the means to building trust in one’s leadership. Listen to how being vulnerable can show a leader’s honesty and authenticity. You’ll also find out what is equally important to being vulnerable—showing a commitment to NOT giving up.

Time Stamped Show Notes:

00:25 – Vulnerability for those running startups is one of those important topics that entrepreneurs should talk about

01:07 – It is the quality or state of being exposed to the possibility of being attacked or harmed, either physically or emotionally

01:49 – It’s an interesting topic because in leadership, people want to communicate and display strength

03:14 – Back then, vulnerability in leadership was not even a topic

03:41 – Hiten believes that vulnerability is a huge part of leadership—now more than ever before

04:00 – Now, people want to understand how you feel

04:26 – Hiten was forced to understand this when their company faced a problem fundraising

05:10 – His vulnerability helped the whole team deal with it together

05:49 – Admitting faults is a strong level of vulnerability

06:08 – If you’re a leader, you own the problem – you’re accountable for it

06:41 – Vulnerability prevents rumors in a company

06:57 – Vulnerability points to authenticity and trust

07:53 – A leader should have a track record of being honest in communication so his team will spend less time trying to figure out what’s really going on

08:40 – Creating mistrust in your team will result to wasted energy

09:31 – “Vulnerability is a crucial part of honesty and trust in a company”

10:25 – Being vulnerable doesn’t mean being weak

11:24 – Don’t spill your emotions around

12:14 – Spilling emotions at other people causes pain

12:52 – “Vulnerability and being genuine are really related”

14:09 – Many people are just stuck

15:04 – Vulnerability can be a massive display of strength

15:35 – Vulnerability means showing people how hard it is WITHOUT giving up

17:05 – Show that the work is challenging, and, just like them, you also have weaknesses—but, show your team how you deal with those weaknesses

17:47 – Be honest!

19:11 – We’d love to hear your opinion on this topic! Email Steli or Hiten

3 Key Points:

Vulnerability is allowing yourself to be in a position where you can be physically or emotionally attacked or harmed.

Vulnerability plays a huge role in your authenticity and honesty as a leader.

Show that you’re vulnerable, but also show that you’re never going to give up.

Steli Efti:

Hey everybody. This is Steli Efti.

Hiten Shah:

And this is Hiten Shah. Today, we're going to talk about vulnerability in startups, especially  when you're in a leadership role, or a founder role, or a manager role. This  is something where it's a topic, it's one of those kinds of Steli and I  like to just jump into. We jump into, actually, all the topics, but this one  especially. I think neither of us know where it's going to go. There's a motorcycle  driving by outside, and so I feel vulnerable because of that. Anyways, I think this  is an important topic. This is a very useful topic. Vulnerability is such a big  word. You know what I'm going to do, Steli. I'd love to hear your thoughts.

Steli Efti:

God damn it. I was just about to do it to beat you, but I  can't out-Hiten a Hiten, so I'll let you do it.

Hiten Shah:

"Vulnerability is the quality or state of being exposed to the possibility of being attacked  or harmed either physically or emotionally." Wow.

Steli Efti:

Say that one more time.

Key points in this episode

Key Highlights

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