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Nextdoor CEO Nirav Tolia talks about adversity and Uber CEO Travis Kalanick

Life isn’t always “up and to the right,” Tolia says on Recode Decode.

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If there’s a problem at your company, you should rip the Band-Aid off and confront it before it spirals out of control.

That’s the short version of Nextdoor CEO Nirav Tolia’s management advice from the latest episode of Recode Decode, a bonus episode guest-hosted by Recode’s senior social media editor Kurt Wagner. Tolia was responding in part to a question about how Uber CEO Travis Kalanick can respond to his company’s current crisis; pre-Nextdoor, Tolia dealt with some public image issues of his own.

“When you first start to experience adversity, it’s not that big of a deal,” Tolia said on the new podcast. “It doesn’t overshadow everything. But sometimes what happens, particularly in our industry with the press cycle being the way it is, something can start small and get big very fast.”

“The thing we’ve tried to do at Nextdoor, and I’ve tried to do in my personal life is: If there’s an issue, deal with it,” he added. “Don’t avoid it. It’s much easier to avoid, it’s much easier to ignore. You don’t want to look in the mirror and admit things you’re not proud of and you’d rather focus on the fun stuff. But you really have to focus on the difficult things first.”

You can listen to Recode Decode on iTunes, Google Play Music, TuneIn, Stitcher and SoundCloud.

Tolia disclaimed that “every situation is very different” and that he couldn’t speak to any of the specifics of how Uber is addressing its cultural problems. However, he seemed confident that the company would survive and come out stronger on the other end.

“I feel like I have learned a ton from the adversity that I’ve experienced,” Tolia said. “In almost all cases, I’ve wished that I wouldn’t have to experience that adversity, but I’ve come through more strongly, and I've learned something about myself and the world that I think I’ve tried to put into practice.”

“Whether it’s Uber or any other company, I think it’s pretty naive to imagine it’s always ‘up and to the right,’” he added. “Uber is an unbelievable entity that has largely been up and to the right. So I believe that Uber will go through some of this adversity the way that many great companies do. They’ll take a look inside, they’ll figure out what they could do better.”

If you like this show, you should also sample our other podcasts:

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