Thursday, August 10, 2017

How To Become a Fair Founder In An Unfair World - Founders Under 40 Group Sponsor

Unnecessary unfairness sucks! There’s not a single day that goes by that someone or something is being treated unfairly. Either on our streets, neighborhoods, schools, judicial systems, venture capital, sports, workplace, etc. In most cases it is the action of those with the means to cause the unfairness a.k.a competitive advantage. It is simply the strong deliberately directly and indirectly devaluing the rights of the weak or less powerful.

My inspiration for this piece was realizing how painful it can be on the receiving end of unfairness, when in the past certain privilege or favoritism came to me, when not of the minority groups. I’m sure you founders have a ton of unfairness stories and shit that you almost fucking wish there was a war to right the injustice. You sometimes see how certain people get preferential treatment and others are stunned as hell as to why your value is not equal to others. So because I hate unnecessary unfairness I decided to write some thoughts for founders to adopt so that they don’t create companies riddled with bull shit sub-culture. 

What Is Unfairness & Why Founders Need To Address It?

Unnecessary unfairness for example is getting one ethnic group to do a particular job like wash toilets and deliberately excluding others because you share similar background to the others.

Unfairness is having a workforce,in different job categories, concentrated of fifty percent of one ethnic group. Do you know how challenging it is to be a minority in such an environment. It’s like fifty straight men in a speed dating event and only five women show up. Founders, I think you’d be doing your company a disservice hanging out only with people who look and act like you. That’s just fucking suicide.

Necessary unfairness for example is when someone chose to save their money instead of constantly upgrading their phone every three months, It’s waiting to buy on sale instead of full price. It’s when being lean and athlectic allows Hussain Bolt to run faster than a three hundred pound weight lifter at the olmpics.

Everyone should know and have access to the information to achieve a promotion. No one should feel discourage about advancing in your company. For example, the janitor should feel confident they can become CEO of the company. If they didn’t get the job, make sure you inform them of legitimate reasons not some BS reasons like they are friends with the boss. Sometimes assholes will get promoted because they are prettier or taller, etc.

Invest and promote personal development tools, lessons, classes, and etc available in the community. Or even create your own “one-hour-free-do-whatever-you-want-project” where people simply take time to do as they please.

Brewing down beneath the underbelly of some of your employees and team mates is this anger about their work environment. Anger about mangers, and superiors about the injustice they have to work in everyday. And that anger is going to come out either by quitting, violence, or an over the top outburst.

Founders need to make time for company-employee relationships. Which means being like a best friend to your team with some boundaries. Basically invest in educating yourself about what matters in their lives and what cause do they passionately support. Try to interact with people with almost the same attitude and treatment.

The thing about being bluntly punched by unfairness is that every effort to win better advantages in some cases does nothing. For example, I know a Muslim woman who had done everything she could to qualify for a fiance banking job but because she wore an hijab she likely was considered less.

Try to avoid favoritism when it is not warranted. Sure there are time you’d want top talent to handle the top client. But sometimes when it doesn’t matter simply get any body to do the job. [Perceptions of favoritism can come out in formal decisions like pay and compensation, or informal decisions such as who gets a special assignment or receives more lenient treatment, Wellins says. It also can come down to who the boss relates to, talks to regularly, and goes to for advice, he says. Other people can quickly begin to feel left out.]

["People who feel fairly treated are not only more likely to be motivated at work and go the extra mile for their organization, but they are also more likely to be healthy, have an active lifestyle and feel positive."]

Discrimination is not a laughing matter and diversity is gold. When all you need is to fill a role do everything possible and even the uncomfortable shit just to make sure to draw from diverse potential sources of talent. One thing I was thought was to occasionally safely visit community centers in parts of the city that I wouldn’t normally do and just try to see the world through their eyes. Diversity of team members allows you see differently, seize opportunity, prevent disasters others failed to see.

Diversify senior level. All levels of leadership, if possible, be diverse. So that minority groups have a advocate that might empathize or help you empathize.

Be true to your values. Whatever you share on your company website or facebook or linkedin better be values you the founder are prepared to uphold. No human being is perfect but trying very hard to stand for those values is essential for attracting as well maintain fairness.

Keep getting better. Chances are every internal issue will have unfairness perception screaming at the victims but as a founder you need to keep getting better because when you retire and transfer power, you don’t want to hear news that you still cant attract more minority. It will be a shame if 20 years from now Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon are still dominated by Caucasian male. Or the NFL can’t attract more Indians or Chinese players.

Change your perception. Sometimes we allow stereotypes,bias to blind our judgment or encourage ignorance. Not every black man is going to steal your Louie Vuitton handbag. Not every white person thinks other groups are inferior. The person that's going to perform surgery on your hips in the future might be a mature twenty something year old.

Become a better listener. Always try to reserve prejudice and listen to people.

Unfairness effects peoples’ health.Unfortunately there have been research that state that perception of unfairness can impact peoples health. The research suggest that employees who feel they are being treated fairly at work are more motivated and more likely to feel healthy.

[An individual‘s performance at work can rise and fall, dependent on various internal factors, which include abilities, skills development, effort, and motivation. Employees tend to thrive and perform well in atmospheres that are conducive to growth and performance. However, these perceptions of positive environments are cultivated only when the employees firmly believe that they do have opportunities to grow and perform, and will be recognized as they do so. These beliefs stem from their perceptions of fairness.]

Unfairness can also create counter productive behaviors such as unwillingness to comply with organization rules, when they feel threatened by others, act violently, harass or bully, increase absenteeism, withdrawal, lacking commitment, emotionally drained, burnout, toxic or self-defeating thoughts, etc

Make sure every rule or policy has the input from diverse people. Nothing worst than creating an incentive that helps workers with children and bluntly ignoring single people.

Addressing problems and issues proactively. Nothing sucks more when over the past few months there were women complainiing of unwanted advances and you sat there and waited for it to go away. Trying to be a perfect human is tough. Imagine being the face and voice of a hundred plus employee company. Are misconducts investigated and punished in a fair manner?

To my fellow founders, keep this in mind. Acting fair or being fair is not easy because the fact is not everyone is equal. Somethings come easy for some and somethings are harder. At the end of the day you must constantly strive for better.




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