March 15th, 2007

Guy Kawasaki got me thinking today

Been doing a tonne of planning and reflecting the past few days with colleagues and myself. My daily reading included the following passage by Guy Kawasaki.

Here’s some food for thought: perhaps this explains the inexorable march toward mediocrity of many (temporarily) great companies. Let’s say a startup is hot. It ships something great, and it achieves success. Thus, it’s able to attract the best, brightest, and most talented. These people have been told they’re the best since childhood. Indeed, being hired by the hot company is “proof” that they are the A and A+ players; in fact, the company is so hot that it can out-recruit Google and Microsoft.

Unfortunately, they develop a fixed mindset that they’re the most talented, and they think that continued success is a right. Problems arise because pure talent only works as long as the going is easy. Furthermore, they don’t take risks because failure would harm their image of being the best, brightest, and most talented. When they do fail, they deny it or attribute it to anything but their shortcomings.

The last bit that I bolded resonated with me as the truth. I have seen it many times in others around me and myself at times. Sometimes I get a bit scared of taking risks…but I love the feeling of taking risks and fall victim to listening too much to the people around me about risks/no risks. Finding the right balance of risk is the key for me.

Traveling by yourself, starting a company, or going down a road that has no guarantees can seem like a risky thing. For me, it is when I feel most alive. Most people I know are afraid to do something like these things on their own.

Things to remember for me from this
Don’t be afraid to take risks and when you screw-up, admit it and learn from it/move one/don’t dwell.

3 Responses to “Guy Kawasaki got me thinking today”

  1. Jen Leo says:

    Love to hear that you’re reading Guy Kawasaki. I found him earlier this year and enjoy his writing and his thoughts on business.

    and as you know, I love taking risks even more…

    But I actually came here looking for some fatblogging. Where’d that go?

    As for why to become a BootsnAll member, to make like-minded friends that will last a lifetime and have a bottomless well of travel inspiration and resources at your fingertips.

  2. Mary says:

    Kawasaki got me thinking too. I’m relieved, happy, no thrilled, I did NOT praise my children! They never felt special, only as special as everyone else.

    Seriously, I’m going to order both books also.

    Even before I read them, my pre-conceived idea is that the majority of people are followers and a few are leaders. But, the followers don’t have to be led without doing some thinking on their own. Independent thinkers are harder to control. Does that
    lead to fewer leaders, more responsible and accountable leader?

    Adults (employees) come to a company already programmed to a large extent. Children are more in a developmental stage (at least until age 9 or thereabouts, read that somewhere).

    I don’t think employees and children can be viewed the same.

  3. sean says:

    I haven’t been blogging Jen so the fatblogging has slowed down – 240.0! I think that is a good thing cuz I am active.

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