What role do feelings, grudges, and regrets play as you constantly look to add or subtract from your leadership team?
Does anyone have any insight or experience from when either: 1) you found yourself wooing back a former co-founder or partner to your firm? 2) you found yourself being woo'ed back by a leader who got rid of you previously.
And what criteria would you use to evaluate this decision? (Besides whether stock options are still in the picture...)
I just loaded up this page on my mobile and your question popped up first. And... it actually made me laugh inside. It's happened to me.
The bottom line is we're all human, and sometimes the positive emotional attachment you had with your colleague is all it takes to build those once strong bonds again.
Just my two penny thought!
I've been on both sides. Use your head, but listen to your heart also. They were there with passion ? Bring them back with what it takes
Approach, strategy or tone >>> Reconciliatory.
I'm also wondering how you would deal with the formerly jilted co-founder's resentment. I guess there's not exactly couples counseling for this sort of thing.
Actually there is couples counseling for cofounders! I recommend Nigel Wylie at The Resolution Co. as someone thoughtful and capable who could help you navigate this: https://www.resolvethis.co/
I think that bridge may be burned to ashes, and you'll have to start from scratch with them. Your cofounder and you can despise each other and still do well as a company if you trust each other, but if you don't trust him or he doesn't trust you then it's game over. Pushing a cofounder out of the door ... that results in trust issues more than anything. Good luck.
If you are looking for a strategy you will get it wrong. It is like a question of how do you calm an angry person. The only way to do it is understand how the person feels, be open, and make them see that the situation has changed. If they left on bad terms you may not be able to do it. But the main thing is just to understand the person and act on that understanding
I haven't had this in the business context, but I have been on both sides in real life and in the course of normal human relationships. I can say with a high degree of confidence that if you can't have an honest discussion with this person.. where you feel like you are able to truly hear what their experience was, and likewise, be able to share your side and feel that it was really heard... then I would advise against it. Otherwise, you will always wonder if there is some left over resentment, and they too might do the same.
To me it sounds like you are past the safety of business boundaries and formalities, and have an opportunity for some real-talk and likely strong bond-forming discussion.
Do you feel like you can bare all and really talk out *both* your grievances in kind, respectful, understanding way, at the bar over some suds if need be?