The feedback from my team's performance reviews floored me

Even though we’re only two years old, I started having performance reviews for my team. We talk all the time so I didn’t think it was going to be a major event. I found an appraisal form online and sent it to everyone. It asked for everyone’s input so I thought it would be a good idea.

When I got the forms back from the team, I was upset and concerned by what I read. Everyone said I was a poor and weak leader. They also said I couldn’t make decisions and they didn’t trust me. Finally, everyone said if they were offered another job, they would take it.

This was the first time I heard any of this. Why didn’t people tell me this? I had never been a manager let alone a CEO, so I had no idea whether I was doing a good or bad job.  They must have been discussing this behind my back for some time and used this as a way to give me feedback. I was so upset that I didn’t want to come into the office and I certainly didn’t want to carry out the individual reviews.

My co-founder was arrested for drunk driving for the fourth time. What can I do?

This was the fourth time my co-founder was arrested for drunk driving. This time his license was taken away and his picture was in the local paper. He was responsible for sales and this meant he did a lot of entertaining and tended to drink too much. We discussed this many times and each time he promised to stop. I am now at the stage where I don’t trust him any more.

There are only two of us on the Board, but I had our lawyer write him a letter saying any repetition of this behavior would result in instant dismissal and forfeiture of all his stock options and incentives. We barely talk to each other now but what else could I have done?

How can I lead when we're all supposed to be friends and equals?

Everyone in the startup was friends, some going back years. In the beginning, as friends, we considered each other equals, but as the business grew, I could sense this wasn’t working.

No one wanted to hurt anyone else’s feelings. It’s difficult to say no to a friend or peers and then go out for a drink with them.

I am not sure how to be a leader in these situations.