Diversity Shouldn’t Be a Quota

And Other Thoughts on Company Culture

I once heard the job of a CEO consists of three ongoing tasks:

  1. Building (or growing) a team
  2. Gathering resources
  3. (Re)aligning everyone towards a singular vision

As someone who is focused on building a company around connecting others with shared ideas, I think about the above tasks a lot.

Specifically, I’m hyper-focused on company culture.

The funny thing is, as of now, it’s only me.

That’s right. I’m a solo founder and CEO.

You may be wondering, “Why the hell are you worried about team dynamics when you don’t even have a team yet?!”

Well, I’m glad you asked. As always, I tend to think ahead. This isn’t that unusual considering I want to create a future that doesn’t exist yet.

A lot of the time, this consists of realigning myself with my long-term goal.

After all, how can I expect to do this for others if I am still determining what this looks like on my own? I also try and plan for things that are a little more short-term, like what my team will look like.

In this case, I honestly have no idea who I’ll be working with.

What I do know is this (currently) fictional team will NOT be made up of individuals like myself: white, privileged males with a specific worldview.

This isn’t because I want my company to appear diverse and inclusive on paper. It’s because I selfishly want the most capable team possible.

This team will need to address the challenge of connecting people from all over the world with shared ideas.

How would my team successfully do this if they were only operating from one set of experiences?

I want to work with intelligent, motivated men and women from different cultures, backgrounds, and experiences who are also passionate about helping others pursue their ideas together.

This is why I’m choosing to be more intentional in building this team.

Instead of following the traditional startup rat race to the top of the mountain and rushing to launch a venture-backed product, I am taking more time to find others who truly align with my long-term vision in order to create a truly sustainable company.

What about you?

Are you being intentional or are you filling your diversity quota?

Are you building a team or launching a company on your own? How will you address the topic of diversity? Share your thoughts in the comments below or on Twitter at @williamfrazr.

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