"But you did not set a frame in which you were the boss"
I think I'm really missing something very important (in life). So, are you saying one should set a boss & subordinate frame even when dealing with friends? I'm really curious
This is in the context of a business you started and presumably want to hold onto, not an ordinary friendship.
"regardless of who did what"
Why would he see me as a boss even when he is doing more work?
It was your idea, right? You're the visionary, you're the one who has a powerful vision, other people work on your idea but you created it, and it belongs to you.
Reinforce this. Especially if the guy might be working on it more than you, you need to get across that it will always belong to you. Frame it as though the idea itself is 75% of the value, and bringing it about it is only 25%. Ask him to keep you informed on progress, be a little bit impatient, and whenever there are decisions to be made, frame it as though you were the one to determine what should be done, even if all you did was accept what he proposed. Even if everything is going well, have small, insignificant things changed so that he knows you're the one running the show. Don't remind him all the time that he's doing more than you, but instead validate him for what you want him to see himself as. Push and pull - push back a little bit on something and then compliment something else.
Like I said, people who are good at what they do and know it will not be so easy to deal with, but that's just the way it is.
Personally, I would think twice about starting a business I had no time for though, it's just too easy for it to slip away, for excitement to die down, for people to become lazy or want to take over - and especially with more than two, it's easy for a slick talker to seize the frame with everyone else.
BTW, why would anyone want to see me as a leader? I may have leadership qualities but I can't portray that with friends or with people who aren't getting anything from me and they're doing all the work. I would really like to know this
It's not about whether they want to see you that way, but whether that's what you make them see (your frame). It's surprising what you can get away with when you validate someone properly and come in with a frame that is exciting to be part of and that predicts success for them.
When you do it subtly enough, it doesn't matter if it's your friend, girlfriend, your family, or anyone else. But in this case, it's not a even normal friendship, it's a business venture, and that changes everything.
Think of it like this: let's say you had a boat, and you invited your friends along on a trip. But you didn't want a circus, you wanted to keep everyone under control and maintain authority.
If you just start going around trying to tell everyone what to do and that you're the captain, everyone's going to resent you and get annoyed.
But what if you framed it a different way:
- This is my boat, it's my pride and joy, it means a lot for you to come and spend time on it. (It's valuable, it's mine, you are a lucky visitor).
- A boat can be dangerous, situations come up, so it's important everyone follows your directions always, so you can keep everyone safe. (Authority is mine, but not simply for my enjoyment, for the good of everyone).
- On a boat there's different tasks to do. Who wants X or Y task, who's good at this or that? (If a guy is physically strong, have him man the winch. If he's smart and careful, have him do the navigation. If he's someone who likes taking care of people, give him the job of preparing food. Find what people want to be validated on, and use it to reinforce them in a position that doesn't interfere with yours. The more occupied someone is, the more investment they are putting in, the more loyal, satisfied, and easy to validate they are.)
- Guys, we're the best team! We're going to have so much fun, and we can deal with any problems! This is going to be the highlight of the year! (Reinforce everything by framing it all as one big path to happiness, success and the satisfaction of belonging to an extraordinary team).
Now, as the captain, you might not even have a lot to do. Maybe you just have to go around making sure that everyone is doing their job, maintaining a warm, comfortable authority, making corrections and validations. But instead of having everyone fight you, they are eager to reinforce the frame you wanted from the very beginning.
Of course, if you can keep busy, pitching in and helping people here and there, taking over when things get tough and showing competence, being the first to perceive problems and the necessary solutions, and setting a constant example - it's going to be much easier to maintain this. But it isn't always necessary.