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There is a large group of people in the DC Tech Scene who believe that holding hands and singing Kumbaya is the way to build community. Cheering on effort, no matter the significance, is supportive and noble. That questioning a premise that calling out a perceived misconception, that calling bullshit is destructive… is the work of the devil.

Maybe it’s because for the last 20 years, we’ve been giving out participation trophies and making sure every player has equal playing time. Maybe America is losing its competitive edge because we’ve learned to celebrate mediocrity.

It takes no guts; it takes no commitment to agree with everything. It is not a sign of caring to encourage a weak idea to take wing. Yes, confrontation is not fun. Confrontation takes commitment. It shows that you care….. at least for something. It’s easy to cheer on a “friend” while they walk off a cliff with a dopey plan. It’s easy to smile and say have a nice day as they go over the side. It is easy. it is comfortable… it is BS, and little learning takes place in comfortable places. The greatest growth takes place on uncomfortable edges.

Does being a “nice” guy mean being agreeable? Is someone who is willing to share what they see, willing to invest the energy in disagreement, and willing to participate in the learning process an Ass?

Because if that is so, I am a disagreeable ass. When I donate my time and brain cycles and share my experience and opinions… when I make an effort, it is because I’m an ass. And I wish there were more asses in this world who were willing to clean up the dog turds some dog-walking cheerleader left on the sidewalk.

Here is the thing….. there are yay-sayers, there are naysayers, and there are truth-tellers.

For me, when I don’t give a crap, I walk on by and let crap be crap. For me, when I’ve tried enough to influence a change that doesn’t take place, I give up and walk on by.

I’m learning every day. Sometimes, I call BS and find out I’m wrong…. I learn. Sometimes I call BS, and the other party finds out they were wrong… they learn. Sometimes I call BS, and we reach an impasse…. we both learn something or nothing.

But when I see what I think is BS and agree that it’s gold…. everyone loses.

….and if you don’t want to have a discussion, a heated debate, a disagreement….. then you don’t belong in business, and you definitely don’t belong in the startup world. Maybe you should join a Hare Krishna commune where life is beautiful and if you don’t make a difference in this life, you’ll make it in the next 100 or so lifetimes. Maybe you should plan on playing Junior Varsity for the rest of your life. Maybe you should surround yourself with happy smiley faces, teddy bears and unicorns, and failure.

…while I continue to be mean old Mr. Cranky!

Now Mr. Cranky is a caring business coach… and if you’re looking for a coach to pat you on the back and tell you you’re perfect… then find some nicey-nicey guy. But if you want someone who cares enough to ask tough questions and hold you accountable? If you’d like to improve your performance? If you want to win… sign up for a complimentary coaching session.

Qualifying people who run businesses can schedule a complimentary coaching session by linking below.

Want to improve your odds of success as a leader? Want to get more than you thought possible out of your team? You can check out my new book, Intentional Leadership, available on Amazon, in Hardcover, Kindle, or Paperback by linking here.