Let me tell you something Mr Sullivan

There’s a point in every founder’s career where being too hands-on becomes an impediment to their personal and business success.

The movie Margin Call has a wonderful scene, involving Jeremy Irons’ character John Tuld, which beautifully summarizes the need to step away from day-to-day business operations. It starts with Tuld addressing a risk analyst in front of the board of directors:

Let me tell you something Mr Sullivan. Do you care to know why I’m in this chair with you all? I mean why I earn the big bucks? I’m here for one reason and one reason alone. I’m here to guess what the music might do a week, a month, a year from now. That’s it. Nothing more. And standing here tonight I’m afraid that I don’t … hear … a … thing. Just … silence … So. Now that we know the music has stopped, what are we going to do about it.

The tl;dr here is the shift to reading markets, articulating and maintaining corporate vision, and defining company culture.

fwiw, if you’re a founder stepping into the CEO role at the business your founded, I highly recommend Rands’ blog. No-one explains leadership better.

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Astro Teller on the future of #education

With four [children] of his own, Teller declares a self-interest in how to future-proof the next generation.

“What they need to know is not a specific skill. It’s how to learn, it’s how to think. There is no skill that we could teach them that I have any confidence will be relevant by the time they’re professionals, except the ability to think critically and the desire to be a lifelong learner.”

And does our education system teach those skills?

“Nope,” he shoots back. “I’m sorry, I wish I could say something more positive.”
Astro Teller, Google X and why moonshots matter

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