I’m in Washington DC for a quick business trip. This morning I went for my run and passed a zillion statues of famous people I should recognize. I’m a history buff and know my fair share, but this town has a lot of statues.
All the bronze and concrete celebrating revolutionary leadership prompted me to think about the evolution of revolutionary leadership. When America was a start-up (backed by French venture capital of sorts) we had scrappy, tenacious entrepreneurial leaders. Passionate commitment. Huge risk takers. Massive upside for the history of mankind. You know, kind of like Apple.
Ok, the magnitude of the Revolutionary War vs. Apple is laughable. But the evolution of leadership follows a similar, depressing path. Everyone can think of their favorite high growth company that became a dinosaur. RIM/Blackberry, Motorola, IBM, Texas Instruments, etc. etc. etc. I’m sad to say that’s the image of America that comes to mind given our current election cycle. I don’t have a political agenda to push here, just a frustration to express. America has all the potential of a scrappy, innovative start-up. Great ideas. Huge upside potential. Lots of great intellectual property. We just need a somebody to set the vision, rally the troops, lead the charge into difficult challenges. And as everyone in venture capital knows, leadership is the most critical of all success factors.
America’s shareholders need to step up, demand better and make changes.
Thanks for listening. I feel better now.