My mother always says I should try working for a big company. Maybe someday I will, but I haven't yet. This series is about management and entrepreneurial failures at small companies. I've worked mostly at software tech startups, but I'm hoping the lessons here are a bit more universal than that.
65% of Americans say seeing their boss fired would make them happier than getting a raise. When I was younger I was skeptical of the need for bosses at all. I've since realized that most people hate their bosses because most bosses are mediocre.
In other words, holacracy (a framework that eradicates hierarchical management, applied by Zappos and others) is an earnest attempt to solve a real problem. But getting rid of management entirely would be throwing the baby out with the bath water. People need management. Good management relieves stress, heightens focus, encourages growth, aligns teams, and empowers talent. But in most cases people experience mediocre management, which may actually be worse than no management at all.
This series is about mediocrity, in the hopes that we can all spot instances of it in ourselves and rise above it.
I have made every mistake in this series. Most leaders have. So the chapter titles are misleading, because I've never met a person who fits neatly into any one of these boxes.
Each archetype has good and mediocre tendencies. Here they are in no particular order:
We all stumble in and out of these archetypes. Leadership failure happens in fleeting moments, it is not a state of being. But hopefully one or two of these archetypes will feel particularly familiar to you.
Step one is identifying your own mediocre tendencies.
Step two is offsetting them with a balanced team and a tool-set for self-awareness and regulation.
This series outlines that journey.
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