Startup Leadership: How Savvy Entrepreneurs Turn Their Ideas Into Successful Enterprises

Startup Leadership: How Savvy Entrepreneurs Turn Their Ideas Into Successful Enterprises

Derek Lidow

Language: English

Pages: 272

ISBN: 1118697057

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


Anyone can start a business. But only leaders can succeed.

Most entrepreneurs know the long odds: only a fraction of them will lead their enterprises through the rocky stages of growth to launch self-sustaining companies. Very few know how to outflank the failures that await them at every turn, including the most painful—being abandoned by key members of their team or getting pushed out by their board just as their business starts to generate real value.

Derek Lidow is on a mission to improve these odds and change these outcomes. Throughout his long career—as CEO, innovator, and entrepreneur—he has tested virtually every aspect of launching a business. Lidow now argues that success is far less dependent upon a firm’s idea or any grand strategy than it is upon something more personal: leadership. Emerging companies have specific leadership requirements, stage by fast-moving stage. Few founders have been able to leverage the tremendous power of this underrecognized reality—until now.

Startup Leadership demonstrates how founders can adopt the skills that are required at each stage of their journey. Whether you are at the idea stage or managing a more mature enterprise, you can start to recognize the fundamental conflict: how to balance your selfish drives with the more selfless leadership required by the organization at any given time. The book shows you how to achieve this balance by:

  • Assessing your unique motivations, traits, and skills
  • Creating a personal leadership strategy that leverages your strengths and mitigates your weaknesses
  • Mastering how to lead teams, including boards
  • Understanding the five prerequisites for driving change
  • Taking control of your inevitable crises, thereby strengthening your team and your leadership

With Lidow’s help, you will learn how to become the startup leader your business needs, and you’ll move forward with your plans with greater confidence and success.

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processes, flexible enough to handle significant growth and changes in demand, while not depending on any specific person(s). Many entrepreneurs dislike this stage because it is not fun. It is all about making things work better, measuring performance to figure out where to make improvements, and ultimately making sure nobody needs you around to operate successfully. Stage three is about putting in place processes that are effective and flexible enough to meet any foreseen changes in demand.

distinction. 4 Most academic study has focused on the cooperation-versus-competition dynamic as modeled by the prisoner's dilemma; very few have studied the resulting game theory as a three-way dynamic, with the inclusion of retreat. Morton Deutsch, in his classic study The Resolution of Conflict (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1973), explicitly maps out the retreat case of “non-interdependence of goals” on p. 21, later referencing a book by R. K. Merton, Social Theory and Social

designing and hand-decorating wrapping paper for local stores. Over the course of five years, Keri's wrapping paper business grew to $250,000 a year in revenue, with four full-time employees, and generated as much income for the family as her husband's job. When her daughter was seven and in school full time, Keri started to allow herself to get excited by the prospect of making her company as successful as possible. She set herself an objective of determining what it would take to succeed at

Questions Based on what we know from Chapter 3 about how an enterprise works, here is a set of questions every entrepreneur needs to answer, one way or another, in order to figure out how his idea can mature into a value-producing enterprise. Who will want to buy your product? You need to be able to describe the customers who will want to buy your product or service. The more you understand your customers—who they are, what they think, how they spend their time, and so on—the more comfortable

and the engineering and maintenance support personnel, and apologized for our leadership failure. We describe the lessons we had learned. We explained what we wanted to accomplish, and we answered some critical questions before anyone even had to ask. No, there will be no layoffs. The increased throughput will reduce unit production costs to the point where we can win more business. We realize that we need to provide training to make sure everybody feels they can understand the computer screens.

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