2 MIN READ, OCT 28, 2019
Have you ever wondered why Silicon Valley guys are so confident in what they do? Why some people are natural collaborators while others don't? Lisa Oreshkina, co-founder at The Breakfast App, who is trained as a graphic designer, started as an information designer, grown up to a product designer, product manager and mentor, shared her thoughts on that at BUILD stage at EMERGE 2019.
If we think of leadership and leaders, the first people come to our mind are such like Steve Jobs and Elon Musk, who are super confident in their ideas, winning, visible, stubborn and dominant. We always see such leaders as people who know what to do, and their knowledge drives them crazy to push their ideas. But it's our mental error of confusing knowing what to do with confidence. Confidence is a psychological state of mind and it is associated with the higher level of testosterone and lower-level of empathy. These testosterone leaders are champions in terms of dominance and non-agreeableness, but their behaviour can be painful for people around, as in most cases, it brings disregard for other people's opinions and feelings. That's the reason why so many CEOs and Silicon Valley guys are tough guys to work with.

Do you really have to be that dominant and confident to be a successful leader? Actually not. There is another type of leaders who have opposite set of traits, but they are still successful business-wise. Lisa presented 2 different types of leaders: Type A and Type B leaders.
TYPE A are dominant and over-confident leaders, who need to control everything – from macro-management to surveillance. They fight to win, that's why they often seem arrogant, because they overdue other people and it is important for them to make it visible. They know exactly what they do, thus they need visible results as soon as possible.

On the contrary, TYPE B leaders are collaborative and humble, because they trust people, respect and accept their ideas. Such leaders are open for exploration.

Lisa pointed out, that the image of success has being programmed in our childhood. The hierarchy of motivational needs based on Abraham Maslow's pyramid drive out human behaviour. From psychological needs to self-actualisation. These needs are universal.
However, these needs can be frustrated. Going back to childhood, parents have different views on how to raise children. Some parents provide love and respect only on condition to certain achievements. As a result, we witness people who are perfectly trained to achieve and win. Type A leaders. All they do is winning to get back their frustrated emotions and needs. However, Lisa called this Type A motivation unhealthy. The childhood experience of having love, emotional support and attention is the reason why Type B leaders don't need much publicity and winning, because their emotional and self-esteemed needs are satisfied and healthy. Their empathy is well-trained, that's why Type B leaders are natural collaborators.

Emotions and feelings are always the lost things, especially in the former Soviet Union countries. Tech industry also sees emotions and feelings as something redundant, because the industry was built by rational and mostly male engineers. But we should face the fact that neglected emotions are the major source for such psychological issues as perfectionism, low-self-esteem, imposter syndrome, depression of all kinds and various social anxieties. Thus Lisa urges to stop denying feelings, as they are the most fundamental soft skill at all.
After learning how to care about yourself, we will be able to learn how to care about others, as caring is the only way to earn real trust, respect and authority.
Get healthy emotionally and professionally, get healthy confidence, get more human connection based on real trust, love and respect. Science says it's the best predictor of fulfilment.
With these vital suggestions Lisa have concluded her speech at EMERGE. We hope this article was useful for you. Stay tuned!
Contributing Author, EMERGE
Researcher in travel tech and travel enthusiast. Ilona is an advocate of women in science and tech. Addicted to coffee.