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1/ I am giddy with excitement to talk more openly about the impact that @LITFellows has had on my life and the transformation I think it can drive across the tech industry.

Today I just want to spread the word to help others.

2/ @LitFellows (LIT) is a non-profit that I have no formal affiliation with other than having gone through the program. It was sort of in stealth until now.
3/ First: context.

I have talked at length publicly and privately about the difficult mental health journey that I think almost all founders have to go through. Yes being a founder is a privilege…...and that doesn’t negate that it is brutally hard.

4/ I am proud that over the last few years I have searched, and found, resources to help my own mental health journey. I’ve detailed some of them on Twitter (i.e. mgmt coach, meditation), but by far the most important for me has been Leaders In Tech.
5/ LIT has provided me with both 1) a peer group of founders that are willing and able to share their authentic journeys in vulnerable ways, and 2) an education to help each of us more effectively communicate our feelings and experiences.
6/ It has helped me simultaneously feel less alone and also build a toolkit to be a more effective communicator with my team.
7/ I think having a peer group is exceptionally valuable for founders. The challenge, IMO, is a) finding those founders that are *willing* to be vulnerable, and b) helping each of them learn the skillset to do it effectively.
8/ I think both a & b are required for the peer group to have the desired impact on mental health. LIT creates that for cohorts of founders. I was lucky- and I truly mean lucky- enough to be in the first cohort (2018).
9/ Some of the biggest mental health breakthroughs I have had over the past 7 years came through my participation with LIT. One in particular was related to jealousy. I detailed that here:

10/ LIT cohorts tend to focus discussion much more on sharing experiences vs. giving advice. I believe hearing other people’s authentic experiences tends to bring people together. Giving advice, in my experience, often does not bring people together. I find it tends to alienate.
11/ I’ve recommended LIT privately to dozens of founders and even some VCs. Now I get to recommend it publicly- and that excites me.

It is an intense weekend w/ your cohort followed by a year-long program (1x per month for 4 hrs).

Big commitment and it the ROI is huge.
12/ In last 10-15 yrs I think we’ve seen the tech industry become more comfortable w/ culture that leads to meaningful mental health issues.
13/ Founders portray a “fake it till you make it” mentality which leads them to not feel comfortable talking with their team, board, investors or other founders about the struggle.
14/ VCs talk openly about about how their ideal founders are “sociopaths” and “egomaniacal”. Real public quotes. Feel free to google if you don’t believe me.

15/ That type of celebration leads founders to be less vulnerable. As vulnerability (and authenticity) declines, so does trust. [trust equation]

The culture’s for tomorrow’s great companies are being built without trust. The reviews are horrible.
16/ LIT aims to change that, but influencing the founders themselves. By helping the founders to feel more comfortable and confident sharing their vulnerabilities, the authenticity begins to permeate throughout the startups they lead.
17/ As founders go through the program they improve their own mental health by building a cohort of other founders they can share authentically with each month.
18/ In addition, they build a skillset to be able to bring appropriate vulnerability to their companies. Increasing trust & compassion.

That skillset acts a multiplier -impacting their team, board, ecosystem.
19/ Every cultural problem doesn’t get fixed with more vulnerability. And every mental health issue of a founder isn’t solved because of a LIT peer group. But it has had a dramatic impact on my life and I know the lives of many other LIT alumni.

Thank you @LITFellows.
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