How Do You Stay Great? #1 Way Executives Fail

By David Paul Carter, MBA
“If you watch sports, you know that world-class athletes don’t stay world-class for long. While executives and leaders don’t age nearly as fast as athletes do, companies, markets and technology change 1,000 times faster than football. As a result, the executive who is spectacular in this year’s 100-person startup may be washed up in next year’s version when the company has 400 people and $100 million in revenue.”

This quote is by Ben Horowitz, a cofounder and Partner of the venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz based in Menlo Park. It really started me thinking.  After all, what do we base our company’s future on but that of an A Class team? And how do we keep our team great?

Horowitz laments that CEOs have very little opportunity to develop their immediate team – they must come 99% ready to perform. He goes on to note, “When the company doubles in size, (you have) a new job. This means that doing things that made you successful in your old job will not necessarily translate to success in the new job. In fact, the No. 1 way that executives fail is by continuing to do their old job rather than moving on to their new job…and failing to keep up with the changes in the business.”

Therefore, are you asking the right questions about your leadership team? Does your team:

  • Fully understand each other’s differences, drivers and styles?
  • Support each other’s development and focus?
  • Practice the principle of “always be learning?”
  • Meet offsite regularly for critical thinking, planning and renewal?
  • Know when to move forward with their new job?

This is truly food for thought and action.  Are you Staying Great?

Contact David Paul Carter at 267-908-3180 to discuss this concept with your leadership team.
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© 2013 David Paul Carter.  All rights reserved.  Sourced from Ben Horowitz Blog.