One of my biggest takeaways from my time in corporate America was that every company has issues. I was doing consulting work, which basically meant my team helped companies solve problems they couldn’t solve on their own. I was fortunate enough to count some of the biggest Fortune 500 companies as clients. I’m talking iconic brands in Super Bowl commercials. From the outside looking in, I thought these companies had it all figured out and were well-oiled machines (kudos to their marketing departments). In reality, I usually found a large and constantly evolving organization that had a serious problem in a core area —one that wasn’t materially impacting revenue yet but that could derail the company if left unaddressed.
When I talk with early founders now, I try to remind them that every company has weaknesses. It’s normal. The great founders I know are aware of the problems in their companies and working to address them. It’s a never-ending cycle. They communicate their issues to others and seek help to resolve them. (When people have a clear understanding of what you need help with, they’re more likely to help you.)
If you’re a founder and feel you must present your company as perfect, I suggest you think again. Perfection doesn’t exist in business. Being open with others about your issues could be the key to resolving them!