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ON FOUNDER DISPUTES, 
FALLOUTS & BUILDING TRUST 
CARLOS EDUARDO ESPINAL 
@CEE | @SEEDCAMP
THE FOUNDATION OF ALL RELATIONSHIPS IS 
trust
THE FOUNDATION OF ALL DISPUTES IS A 
LACK OF TRUST
THE 8 PILLARS OF TRUST ARE: 
| 
CLARITY, COMPASSION, CHARACTER, 
COMPETENCY, COMMITMENT, CONNECTION, 
CONTRIBUTION, AND CO...
STARTUPS = AMBIGUITY. 
THAT “CAN” BE OK, BUT YOU SHOULD STILL 
TRY TO PURSUE CLARITY.
SIX ACTIONS TO HELP CREATE AN 
ENVIRONMENT OF TRUST
CREATE A STRONG & 
CONSISTENT CULTURE
CLEARLY DEFINE ROLES 
RASCI - RESPONSIBLE, ACCOUNTABLE, 
SUPPORT, CONSULTED, INFORMED
CREATE ACCOUNTABILITY
COMMUNICATE FREQUENTLY
HAVE A PLAN FOR HOW 
THINGS SHOULD FAIL 
GRACEFULLY 
FOUNDER’S COLLABORATION AGREEMENT
IF THINGS GO SOUR, TAKE 
ACTION QUICKLY TO RE-ORGANIZE
WHAT IF TRUST IS BROKEN? 
HERE ARE 5 OPTIONS TO DEAL WITH IT
OPTION 1 - COMPLETE RECONCILIATION AND 
RE-ESTABLISHMENT OF TRUST BETWEEN 
FOUNDERS
OPTION 2 - ONE FOUNDER TAKES THE 
LEADERSHIP HAT AND THE OTHER(S) A 
MORE OPERATIONALLY DEFINED ROLE
OPTION 3 - THE FOUNDERS JOINTLY AGREE TO 
BRING ON A NEW LEADER INTO THE 
ORGANIZATION
OPTION 4 - THE OFFENDING (OR OFFENDED) 
FOUNDER LEAVES THE COMPANY
OPTION 5 - THE FOUNDERS JOINTLY AGREE TO 
SHUT THE COMPANY DOWN
INVEST IN BUILDING AND KEEPING TRUST, IT 
WILL GO FURTHER THAN ANY OTHER TYPE OF 
INVESTMENT
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On Founder Disputes, Fallouts, and Building Trust

Relationships are built on trust, and they require work to keep alive and well. This presentation, based on the longer blog post (link below) is about how to help resolve issues between founders, but more importantly, prevent them from happening in the first place.

http://thedrawingboard.me/2014/09/05/on-trust-founder-fall-outs-and-6-steps-to-getting-things-back-on-track/

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On Founder Disputes, Fallouts, and Building Trust

  1. 1. ON FOUNDER DISPUTES, FALLOUTS & BUILDING TRUST CARLOS EDUARDO ESPINAL @CEE | @SEEDCAMP
  2. 2. THE FOUNDATION OF ALL RELATIONSHIPS IS trust
  3. 3. THE FOUNDATION OF ALL DISPUTES IS A LACK OF TRUST
  4. 4. THE 8 PILLARS OF TRUST ARE: | CLARITY, COMPASSION, CHARACTER, COMPETENCY, COMMITMENT, CONNECTION, CONTRIBUTION, AND CONSISTENCY | *‘THE TRUST EDGE’, DAVID HORSAGER
  5. 5. STARTUPS = AMBIGUITY. THAT “CAN” BE OK, BUT YOU SHOULD STILL TRY TO PURSUE CLARITY.
  6. 6. SIX ACTIONS TO HELP CREATE AN ENVIRONMENT OF TRUST
  7. 7. CREATE A STRONG & CONSISTENT CULTURE
  8. 8. CLEARLY DEFINE ROLES RASCI - RESPONSIBLE, ACCOUNTABLE, SUPPORT, CONSULTED, INFORMED
  9. 9. CREATE ACCOUNTABILITY
  10. 10. COMMUNICATE FREQUENTLY
  11. 11. HAVE A PLAN FOR HOW THINGS SHOULD FAIL GRACEFULLY FOUNDER’S COLLABORATION AGREEMENT
  12. 12. IF THINGS GO SOUR, TAKE ACTION QUICKLY TO RE-ORGANIZE
  13. 13. WHAT IF TRUST IS BROKEN? HERE ARE 5 OPTIONS TO DEAL WITH IT
  14. 14. OPTION 1 - COMPLETE RECONCILIATION AND RE-ESTABLISHMENT OF TRUST BETWEEN FOUNDERS
  15. 15. OPTION 2 - ONE FOUNDER TAKES THE LEADERSHIP HAT AND THE OTHER(S) A MORE OPERATIONALLY DEFINED ROLE
  16. 16. OPTION 3 - THE FOUNDERS JOINTLY AGREE TO BRING ON A NEW LEADER INTO THE ORGANIZATION
  17. 17. OPTION 4 - THE OFFENDING (OR OFFENDED) FOUNDER LEAVES THE COMPANY
  18. 18. OPTION 5 - THE FOUNDERS JOINTLY AGREE TO SHUT THE COMPANY DOWN
  19. 19. INVEST IN BUILDING AND KEEPING TRUST, IT WILL GO FURTHER THAN ANY OTHER TYPE OF INVESTMENT

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