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Thursday, June 20, 2013

Not an Entrepreneur

I’m not a real entrepreneur. I don’t gamble, either. Or race cars, or climb mountains. I don’t need the thrill.

Yet, there have been times in my worklife that I refer to as “combat,” not because of conflict. Instead, it was the life-or-death level of emotional involvement required by the circumstances, to the near-exclusion of other concerns – sometimes for periods of several years running.

I don’t work that hard for that long any more. That’s another reason I’m not primarily an entrepreneur.

While we’re on the subject, here is Theodore Roosevelt’s famous “Man in the Arena” passage:

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Good Leader? Why?

Here’s the shortest leadership survey you’ll ever take:

    1. Did you stick with a person who got you to do something you didn’t want to do?

    2. If so, why?

If the answer to Question 1 was “Yes,” the person is a leader. If the thing was a good thing, the person is a good leader, in both senses of the word.

Question 2 is a different matter. You didn’t want to do it, but you did. This person got you to act against your preference. And you didn’t regret it later, at least not enough to turn away from the person. There’s a lot going on here.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

'I Hate Mistakes'

People who hate mistakes are dangerous people.

They rarely come right out and say they hate mistakes, but the markers for the attitude are obvious anyway. If you’re a manager, you can’t afford to ignore them.

When mistakes happen – as they inevitably do – the most devoted mistake-haters tend to react ferociously. Not only do they strongly, instantly distance themselves from any association with the problem, but they come down hard on the designated perp. That person can expect blunt and unforgiving condemnation.