You might not know it from reading the past few paragraphs, but what actually triggered this post in my mind was one simple characteristic. Awareness. Two things brought me here. First I am reading Awareness by Anthony De Mello. Second, in the past few weeks it seems that I have run into an above average number of start-up teams that are stunningly unaware of their own markets, competition, and strengths/weaknesses as a team. - via A VentureBlog
Self-awareness is a prerequisite for authenticity and integrity and, in my view, leadership.
As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others. - Nelson Mandela
Reading solely business books and cranking out business plans often serves to keeps our blinders on. Most start-up teams are stunningly unaware period (unconsciously reacting out of fear or guilt). I'm not so sure this is a new trend.
And, whether it's a start-up or not, you need a leader with adequate self-knowledge. Lots of entrepreneurs -- especially those who experience early success -- don't understand the basis for their success and believe themselves infallible. Those entrepreneurs tend to fail the next time -- hard. - from "The Business Case for Passion" by Randy Komisar in Leader to Leader, No. 19 Winter 2001(Hmmm, wish I had these insights before the start-up from hell.)
The trick to reading mind-bending books like this is to read slowly and following Goethe's suggestion:
All truly wise thoughts have been thought already thousands of times, but to make them truly ours, we must think them over again honestly, till they take root in our personal experience. - Goethe