People Reflect Their Leader

Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton represent who we are as Americans, and we don’t like what we see. Our confusion about which person to vote for is, in reality, confusion on who we are. We can’t choose because we “the people” are in transition. Our identity was clear, and now it isn’t. But one day it will be!

As an investor, this is one of the best ways to evaluate the culture and beliefs of a company’s leadership. The people of a company, small or large, are a reflection of the leader.

Making Buying Decisions

We want to deal with companies whose employees are there to help. Friendly, caring and informed employees. People who take the time to understand our needs first and then have the authority to help us satisfy our needs.

Companies with employees like these reflect the image and beliefs of leaders who do the same. As an entrepreneur once told me, “I am the culture.” And he was correct.

Jesus’ Fruit Test

Jesus put it best when he said, “You can tell a tree by its fruit.” But fruit inspection can be tricky.

This is what makes my angel investing so risky. I am focused on preformation startups. This means the only people I get to meet before I make an investment are the founders. And in most cases, there is only one founder.

I was once told, “You can tell what kind of husband a man is by meeting his wife. Is she confident or fearful? Is she joyful or anxious? Is she engaged or withdrawn?”

So the best I can do in vetting an entrepreneur is to meet their spouse and the people who used to work for them. In other words, inspect the fruit.

Leadership’s Impact on Culture

A friend who lived in Washington, DC said the culture of Washington changes with each president. I found this amazing. Imagine a whole city changing its culture every four or eight years? Then I realized this is what happens to our nation and not just Washington. This is the impact of leadership.

On November 8th we, as Americans, will be deciding our culture for the next decade and beyond. That’s a big decision, and to think, we only get one vote.