Start Up Blog

The paradox of leadership

Posted in entrepreneurship by Steve Sammartino on August 18, 2009

In large companies there is a paradox of leadership. The paradox is closely related to the fact that

‘The skills that help someone get to a leadership position, are the opposite of the skills required once the person arrives.’

Most often employees and decision makers are stooged by the person self promoting, than the person who does the real leadership stuff. In large corporates the sycophants usually win, not the leaders.

In startup land we have the opportunity to lead others because management isn’t holding us back from leading. What we must do is remember all the bad managers we had because of the ‘Paradox of Leadership’ and not be like them.

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  1. Andre Sammartino said, on August 20, 2009 at 9:06 am

    Steve, you might enjoy this latest gem from Henry Mintzberg on Managers (not quite laders, but similar sentiment):

    http://organizationsandmarkets.com/2009/08/17/mintzberg-interview/

    “I talk about what I call “the inevitably flawed manager.” We’re all flawed, but basically, effective managers are people whose flaws are not fatal under the circumstances. Maybe the best managers are simply ordinary, healthy people who aren’t too screwed up.”


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