Photo: statigr.am/Clothilde Fernagu
One the biggest lessons entrepreneurs need to learn is that some serious dangers come along with rapid growth. The very things that help entrepreneurs succeed — including willpower, individualism, and the ability to go it alone — can end up holding them back.
According to Gazelles CEO Verne Harnish, the thing that’s changed the business world the most and makes companies grow faster than ever is the ability to get other people to do work for you.
A “Superman complex” holds entrepreneurs back by making them think they don’t need to change with their company, and preventing them from following the “Facebook model,” which is getting other brains on board for free to accelerate their company.
Here’s how Harnish put it:
“Companies this century are accomplishing in 8 years what it would have taken 80 years before to achieve. The big difference is that last century it was all about getting the right butts on the right seats, making sure you have the right people in the right executive seats, and that hasn’t changed. What has been added, and what Facebook’s really taught us is whoever gets the most brains on the bus wins.
If you look at Facebook’s business model, they’ve said they have one seventh of the planet working for them for free, a billion people. Amazon does the same. … So, the main things that’s changed is last century if the leader was smart and you had a sharp executive team you could do well. That’s not sufficient this century. In fact, one of things we have to remind the leaders today is that you have to get your ego out of the way, and realise that if you’re going to win big, you need to get the crowd, you need to get a lot of people involved with your business model.
There’s a little bit of a Superman complex that’s necessary at first, there’s a certain amount of ego that’s healthy. Otherwise you can’t keep getting up early every morning and fighting the good fight, but it’s also the thing that tends to get in your way.”
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