Don't be an entrepreneurial bully

Learn to stay nice while building a successful business.

Photo illustration / Robin Witek / Newscom
Starting a business can turn entrepreneurs into bullies. Here are some ways to maintain civility under pressure.

Sometimes entrepreneurs just can't help themselves. They get so wrapped up things like making the business model work and growing their ventures that they can lose perspective on their actions. They may talk about the importance of acting ethically and building a positive culture, but the pressures of the entrepreneurial journey can lead to behaviors that do not match their words and their intentions.

This can lead to entrepreneurial bullying.

Jackie Gilbert writes about this issue in a blog post from this weekend:

"The union of people with like traits thus produced a "super-strain" of individuals who were highly independent and self-sufficient. These same characteristics that were so useful at one time for survival purposes (and which still fuel our entrepreneurial society) - may however have detrimental consequences for our personal behavior. Although in theory we appear to espouse the values of mutual respect and democratic management, how often are these values forgotten when we are faced with an annoying situation? Our desire then to embellish our ego, to trounce an opponent, or to vindicate ourselves at another's expense may take precedent over conducting ourselves with a sense of decorum. In these moments of self-righteousness indignation, we seem to forget the Golden Rule, or as Tony Alessandra so eloquently coined the term, the Platinum RuleĀ® - treating others as they wish to be treated."

Gilbert offers eight specific things to do that can help ensure better behavior when dealing with those around us. They are worth reading and putting into action.
I tell my students that real courage is to do what is right even when it is most difficult to do so. Being virtuous does not just happen -- it comes from an intentional and consistent pattern of behaviors that eventually become habit. That is how character is formed. Even the small interpersonal interactions in our daily lives shape our character over time.

Gilbert's tips offer actions that can help us avoid developing habits that turn us into entrepreneurial bullies.

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