On Leadership

Posted on May 16, 2006

I think it is very important for you to do two things: act on your temporary conviction as if it was a real conviction; and when you realize that you are wrong, correct course very quickly. And try not to get too depressed in the part of the journey, because there’s a professional responsibility. If you are depressed, you can’t motivate your staff to extraordinary measures. So you have to keep your own spirits up even though you well understand that you don’t know what you’re doing.

from Andy Grove via Guy Kawasaki and Bob Sutton

I’m in a position at work where it’s time to grab my hardhat and get to the work of managing. The complication is that the people I’m working with both, technically, outrank me. I’m building a hedge fund at work, which is a project which plays directly to my strengths and education.

We’ve faced some recent difficulty, however, and I’ve seen enough to believe that the best solution is for me to make sure that my beliefs get out there. I think my concerns are the most useful match with the external shareholders, and fortunately I think that a little more rigor is what the project needs. So it’s time to step up. This is playing directly to my weakness. I like my hubris well-contained normally.

The above quote really resonated with me, and I hope it’s right, because that’s exactly what I’m trying to do.