Although we usually hate chicken soup (because they often only serve the purpose of short term morale boost without any medium or long term benefit), we find the following useful.

These are allegedly words by Wang Xin, founder of Meituan. We wrote recently about Meituan challenging Didi in ride-hailing and Meituan’s acquisition of MoBike. The company, which has survived many tough battles, including the earlier epic against thousands of other Groupon copycats, is almost a legend in China. It is also an app that so many urban dwellers in China can’t live without.

The title is “Eight things you should never tell your boss”:

  1. “This has always been done this way” – the reason why you are paid to be here is to do it better than everyone else, not to extend business-as-usual;
  2. “This is not my fault” – when nothing is ever your fault, you are probably redundant in the organisation;
  3. “I am not capable of doing this” – there is a reason why this your boss asks you to do something. Such response is often perceived as a way to shirk responsibilities. There are better ways to solve problems;
  4. “This is so unfair” – what you perceive to be fair to you is, honestly, often unfair to others. That said, life, with a lot of its unfairness here and there, works out to be fair throughout your life. Feeling privileged and always emphasizing on fairness shows how weak you are;
  5. “This is not my job scope” – so you are here just to do whatever you are paid for. If you never go beyond your job scope, you will never achieve anything great in life;
  6. “I will give it a try” – a show of lack of confidence and ability;
  7. “I will just take a few minutes of your time” – fake courtesy should not be encouraged in startups;
  8. Gossips about your colleagues.

While we do not necessarily agree with all of the above, we feel that for startup founders (or in fact any leader who wants to be effective), items 1, 2, 4, 5 are usually big red flags that the team member you have in front of you is not good for the team.


Thanks for reading The Low Down (TLD), the blog by the team at Momentum Works. Got a different perspective or have a burning opinion to share? Let us know at [email protected].