Being a successful visionary entrepreneur takes a great deal of bravado, charisma and “asshole disregard.” In Walter Isaacson’s extensive biography of Steve Jobs, we learn that Jobs changes circumstances to suit him, influence the minds around him, an industry and effectually the world by being focused, persistent, opinionated and a prick. Really, the other side of the coin could be that he held people to their higher self and saw that higher self in himself and the products he created. The fact of the matter is the Steve Jobs personalities of the world are anomalies and when an entrepreneur is willful enough to see things different, that comes at a cost — one being a rough management style, which really isn’t a management style at all.
If we didn’t have unrealistic, idealistic maniacs, the world would be carless, light-bulbless and minus an even better way to deal with child leukemia and chemotherapy. Thank you Henry Ford, Albert Einstein and Emil J. Freireich. ‘“When Henry Ford decided to produce his famous V-8 motor, he chose to build an engine with the entire eight cylinders cast in one block, and instructed his engineers to produce a design for the engine. The design was placed on paper, but the engineers agreed, to a man, that it was simply impossible to cast an eight-cylinder engine-block in one piece.” Ford replied, ”Produce it anyway,” Napoleon Hill, Think and Grow Rich.
While an entrepreneur superstar can get phenomenal things done incredibly fast in the short-run, many times, that superstar doesn’t understand group dynamics, and as a consequence, struggles to be an effective leader. A superstar entrepreneur can often do the work of four people which is a great asset, but if the superstar won’t humble themselves and play nice, then a company runs the risk of being too dependent upon the superstar. Should the company lose the superstar, could be a disaster. Additionally, a superstar who can’t stop being a diva can eventually destroy a company’s culture, or in the case of Steve Jobs, create a tribe by being unreasonable. The fact of the matter is, rational, practical, ‘play nicely’ leadership is not hard to come by, but an entrepreneur that can distort reality to their will and keep investors and the world engaged are so few and far between that we have to embrace ridiculousness.
Can’t wait to see the Steve Jobs film this weekend — Tribe “Ridiculous #Entrepreneurs” unite.
Photo credit – Hypable.com/Andrew Sims