Assertiveness is not the opposite of nice, and thus, they're not endpoints on a continuum. I think it's possible to be assertive as well as nice; I guess that's called persuasion.
I'd definitely agree with you about #1 since assertiveness can be linked to confidence. I don't believe I'd want to fund a group who was willing to give into every suggestion/challenge that I threw at them. You don't want somebody completely hard-headed, but you do want people who believe in their ideas.
For #2, I'm not sure that I quite agree. Some non-assertive owners are just laid back and very open to suggestions. Others just have no sense of direction, and their product kind of floats from idea to idea.
I question #2. if someone is taking a big stake in an early-stage start-up and working for below-market salary, wouldn't they be most interested in the founder being someone who is likely to succeed? Equity is just so much paper if the start-up fails, and there is not much point in exchanging current income for equity if you are not banking on success.
That is not to say that success is tied to being an aggressive boss. There are many management styles, both good and bad, and being assertive does not mean being difficult. Some of the best leaders in my experience are those who know what they want and don't comprimise their goals. However, the difficult part, which most people never really master, is getting others on board with your goals. An assertive leader can choose to inspire or bully their team, but inspiration is far more likely to succeed in the long term.
I agree with your points.
Can we be honest here?
Most people who are extremely (or even moderately/fairly) assertive are not as fun to be around as those who are pushovers. (then again, that could just be me)
Whenever you get two assertive people together they usually butt heads. One will have to stand down or they will have to come to an agreement. Things are tense and not as much fun this way, I've found.
But you're right -- it does take assertiveness to build a successful startup.
The biggest problem is founders believe everyone has the same 100% zeal and optimism about their startup as they do.
When you have 40-100% of the company, and your employee has .0001% to 3% (as is usually the case), and where not there when you sat around with buddies & decided to start the co., then why should they? (unless you are already like a YouTube just before its about to get bought, etc -- rarely the case early on)
Just my $02, from both sides of the fence.
A laid back boss in a startup ?
I wouldn't want to join that company at all.
In my opinion assertiveness almost always equals to passion and commitment. And of all companies startups do need assertive bosses.
Assertiveness + Ready for Risk = startup.....
I think the person who is going to startup something somewhere in his mind,planning is assertive.just whts the problem is ...no one can get or see that assertiveness......again one thing is that person who is assertive is always ahead of world...so sometimes people around him keep joking..that what exactly he is thinking of.I know i am going out of track..but this is the common thing i found....I am writing here all these things because...someone who is coming here..may have started or may want to start something..so i suggest dont think of anyone and just start according to ideas in your mind....dont give up to negative forces around you...and keep going....because i strongly feel..as you are reading this...you are ahead of world..ahead of time...and want to do something...just start...!!!!