Highlighting the Power of Great Cofounders
My mind has been fixated lately on the importance of chemistry among company founders. The passion and integrity of that original group defines an organization. I’m fortunate to interact with remarkable founders on a regular basis but I’ve seen few founding teams who demonstrate a balance of skills, abilities, and excellence as New Story.
In today’s environment of companies focus on rapid growth (and even faster burnout), New Story continues to keep pace with it’s peers while forming an world class organization that is built to last. Taking pause to examine the founders’ unique contributions to the whole, aspiring entreprenuers and struggling startups need look no further than this founding team.
Tenacity and Resourcefulness
Matthew Marshall of New Story demonstrates a tenacity and resourcefulness that defines high quality scrappiness. Not only is he a thoughtful risk taker but has a genuine drive to help those in need. He is steadfast, dependable, and the first to lend a hand or help lift the load.
New Story formed and grew without a technical cofounder. When most startups (especially in tech) are prone to delay or abandon their idea without technical expertise, Matthew’s flexibility and boldness propelled the team forward. Graphic design, editing videos, landing pages, donor emails, problem solving, process creation, and so much more. He serves as a shining example that a lack of experience should never be an excuse for a lack of action.
We first met at a local meetup, which began a relationship that led to my joining the New Story team 2 years later. His excitement and belief caused me to take a deeper look into this organization I’ve come to love.
Thoughtful Consideration and Healthy Discourse
While speed and action are crucial for a young company, thoughtful consideration and deliberation can work in contradiction but prevents costly missteps. It’s a continual tension to manage. Few people are willing to stand their ground against a group consensus and skillfully articulate their position. The patience to do so is indispensable. That’s where Alexandria Lafci thrives.
As New Story continues to grow, Allie’s unique perspective and patient demeanor become increasingly valuable in preserving the health and culture of a high performing team.
I’ve watched Allie disagree with our entire team, then tactfully and respectfully gain a unanimous consensus in favor of her position. We were ready to hire a particular role and she was able to walk us back to ensure we were solving the right problem. It saved our team time, energy, and ultimately prevented us from making the wrong hire. The absence of this type of leadership could vary well be why the average startup ends unsuccessfully. Fortunately for New Story, her presence continues to shape the organization’s impactful rise.
Courage and Discipline
The courage to dream big and the discipline to execute on those dreams is the mark of a great leader. In the beginning, persistence and adaptability is vital. As the organization evolves, many CEOs are unable to evolve with it. The capability of one’s personal growth to outpace organization’s growth is rare.
I’ve watched Brett Hagler cast massive vision yet also nail the smallest detail. He pushes the team to perform yet demonstrates empathy and concern for each person. He has asked for millions from stages all over the country yet humbly asks forgiveness for those he has wronged.
As managing partner at Polar Notion, the responsibility and authority rests on me. While it is taxing at times, the control is comforting. So when I joined New Story, I was reluctant about submitting so heavily to someone else’s direction. Despite those concerns, my trust in Brett continues to grow and strengthen. As we dream of a world where no person lives in survival mode, I have no doubt about his ability to lead the charge. The passion and determination in his voice and behavior stirs the soul.
Team of Founders
The harmony and alignment produced by this founding team sets the bar. Matthew, Allie, and Brett have facilitated the growth of a vibrant culture and give permission for new team members to join in and do the same. We define this in a core value: team of founders.
Beyond a clever mantra that lives on a poster at the office, it’s an attitude that is woven throughout the organization. Building something worth being apart of requires intentionality. The work is never done.