Reboot Podcast Episode #172 – Finding Closure After Shutting Down the Business – with João Barros

The Reboot podcast showcases the heart and soul, the wins and losses, the ups and downs of startup leadership. On the show, Entrepreneurs, CEO’s, and Startup Leaders discuss with Jerry Colonna the emotional and psychological challenges they face daily as leaders.


João Barros

João Barros

Entrepreneur & Professor at Carnegie Mellon University

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Episode Description

There’s more to leadership than building the next billion-dollar unicorn. Our guest, João Barros, has walked a fascinating path – from professor to CEO and back again. In this candid conversation with Jerry, João reflects on his entrepreneurial journey, making the gut-wrenching decision to close down his business, and how attending a Reboot Bootcamp empowered him during this difficult time.

Join us as we challenge conventional success paradigms, honor diverse paths to leadership, and highlight why João embodies the essence of a servant leader. Discover why embracing change and letting go can lead to the most profound lessons.

Show Highlights

Memorable Quotes:

“Everybody always says to me, well, what does it mean to do the work? It means leaning into the tough spot of, ‘Oh, shit. I don’t know what I’m doing.’ And all of the feelings that come from that.” – Jerry Colonna

“The Bootcamp was the moment where I finally gave myself permission to think what is the intersection between what the company needs, what you need, and what your family needs, and how do we get to that point.” – João Barros

“I just realized if my marriage and my family are okay, if we’re doing well, if we’re as close-knit as we usually are, then everything else is easier. Whereas, if that’s not working, then everything else, has no chance of succeeding.” – João Barros

“The truth is also that the CEO job was forcing me to do a lot of things that are actually not part of my nature. I didn’t I didn’t feel myself for a very long period of time.” – João Barros

“I am still trapped in that Silicon Valley storyline…you’re only successful if you create a unicorn and everybody celebrates the huge, massive valuation of your company. But I also tell myself that, in the end, I was honest with everyone that I dealt with, and I did the best I could. And that has to be enough.” – João Barros

“Before you start something, write down your definition of success before you actually embark. Lots and lots of people will tell you what success means, but if you have your own definition that you wrote down before everybody else tells you what success is, then at the end of the journey, you can go back to that and just say thank you for reminding me that that of the starting point and what we set out to do.” – João Barros

“Oftentimes, I will say that the hallmark of a good leader is the number of leaders that they help create. I’ll expand that right now. The hallmark of values-driven leadership is the DNA of those values continues to spread.” – Jerry Colonna

“Closure is a process. It’s not something that you flip a switch and then all of a sudden those feelings change. The process is about revisiting and remembering. Re-membering that which has been disconnected.” – Jerry Colonna