CHAPTER 10Why Brilliant, Visionary CEOs and Founders Usually Fail

Steve Jobs was a brilliant visionary who made Apple one of the most valuable companies in the world. But that would have never happened were he not first fired from the company. (It was only many years later, when he was much wiser and able to learn from his first disaster as a founder, that he was able to bring value to the company and its customers.) Today, Uber is another one of the most valuable companies in the world. And which also unceremoniously dumped their founder. Literally the week I am writing this chapter, the company WeWork, which recently launched their IPO, paid a $1.7 billion (with a “B”) golden parachute to make their founder go away.

I hate to affirm a negative outcome into existence. But I’m afraid it’s probable that what I write in this chapter and the next are going to cost me a lot of book sales. Because the people who inspire me to write these chapters may want to ban the book from their companies.

But I would be remiss if I didn’t cover this topic. Because sometimes—sadly, far too often—the toxic, dysfunctional person at your company is the one who created it. Or the biggest obstacles to success with the company are the people who run it. And you deserve to know the truth.

Here’s something very simple yet very profound that you must understand. The skillsets (and personality type) it takes to launch a company are dramatically different from the skillsets (and personality type) it takes ...

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