“If you think I’m not the person to lead this company then just tell me, wish you the best luck, this isn’t about me.”
Object lessons are valuable when mistakes would have a critical impact to the team, use sparingly.
Trust requires radical candour and it’s reciprocated.
Leadership is about contributing to the bigger picture and selflessness, the military is a good primer for this.
- Best management books are war books like Sun Tzu’s Art of War
- Object Lessons
- Powerful motivators
- Classic management books are too simplistic, can be seen as peacetime management books
- People like Steve Jobs made good use of Object Lessons
- Object Lessons don’t work in peace time, only in critical times otherwise seen as too extreme and drive people away
- People need to be allowed to make mistakes, but disciplined when company is at stake
- Object lesson: required when objectives are really critical.
- Andy Grove (Intel) said to someone who was 5 minutes late: “the only thing I have is time and you’re wasting it”.
- If you do it too much, people will lie to you to make sure you’re feeling everything is fine.
- “You have to explain why we must achieve what we must achieve.” - Ben Horowitz
- best teams stay focused
- Best leaders aren’t trying to be liked, they are transparent, direct, set expectations even around bad events, are in control of the
- “We’re gonna go through a rough patch, the media will hate us, come and ask me questions, the stock might fall” “Russ (Twitter) told me that might happen, and we’re still coming every morning, were still focused on those 3 things” Instead of a leader who tells people who they want to hear to make them happy, until people are surprised with the bad news.
- Clarity, Consistency, Honesty
- Silicon Valley has a lot of competition
- Becoming person who you don’t want to be, or not learning to become better will leave
- Leader is committed to employee development
- People will behave like Leader, flaws magnified, good will too
- Good people: Mentally though, work hard, focus on the big picture instead of some random minor issue like a blog post on a failure by someone else, ability to evolve
- Bad people: work for themselves, a lot of people do that, must work for something bigger than themselves and company — Ben Horowitz, co-founder at Andreessen Horowitz (funding Uber, AirBnB, Slack, and all the big ones)
- A lot of people come out of Stanford, Berkeley without understanding what working for each other means, the bigger picture. At the end of the day, big picture, not selfishness, it’s what matters.
- Follow your passion:
- Find your talent, not just your passion, what you love at 20 might still change.
- Find what you can do that makes a difference and the success will make you love it
- Though your passion might be self-centred, think about what you can do for the world. “What you contribute means a lot more than what you get”
- You get paid to make the decision that’s unpopular, because if everyone knows the direction you should be going, they don’t need you
- As a leader: “if you think I’m not the person to lead this company then just tell me, wish you the best luck, this isn’t about me”
- Military and leadership
- In Israel everyone is in the military, that background helps create businesses, helps with systems thinking. (Maybe why there are so many successful startups there)
- Military is a system that has evolved over centuries and there is value in there: the structure, the systems thinking of intended and unintended consequences
- There is currently no real leadership training outside the military; but in Military leadership is core.
- Military requires mission accomplishment, and to be 100% sure everyone has the same goal