Good day to all.
Background, I cofounded and am the CEO of a tech startup.
Started the company almost 5 years ago, with the founding CTO having to leave due to an unfortunate illness from her daughter. With her blessing and help, I rehired someone new and took it from there to grow the company in the following years. We are around 20 employees today.
The past months (year?) has been a bit difficult for I'm sure may startups out there, as it has been for us, and I have been working tirelessly with the help of my COO and CTO, not to grow, but to survive.
Unfortunately, or the past couple of months I have been feeling a lot of frustration while working with them. While in the past years they would follow my leadership and decisions, nowadays it feels like the automatically want to rebuff any idea or suggestion that I may have.
Sometime it even feels like they want to fight the most trivial decisions or suggestions I make, just to make a point.
What I feel would take a day to decide and put people to work, now feels like days of constant going back and forth to find a compromise on the little details. It even feels they tag-team against me, even though they are employees and not founders/partners.
I feel tired.
My management style has always been the participation style, where I like to take input from the parties involved, and make a final decision. I feel however that they are taking advantage of this trust, and the fact that they know that in this current (financial) times it would be impossible for me to hire a new CXO team, with such specific tech and industry knowledge.
Sometimes I dream that I would just tell them to STFU and do as they are told, but I know that they'll do with the worst intentions and it is not the best examples of leadership.
I have thought about maybe letting go the COO, as I could take on the role myself, but it would probably mean that the CTO would leave, putting us in a difficult spot.
What can I do to regain respect without taking drastic decisions?
Thank you for your help.