Monday, 14 February 2011

Great Leaders Know When To Retreat

Found in The Financial Times: 15 November 2010

Great Leaders Know When To Retreat

Robert Craven, managing director of The Directors’ Centre, a consultancy

“There is a myth, partly perpetuated by the dreadful Apprentice and Dragons’ Den television shows, that going from the founder at the kitchen table to a great chief executive is how it should be.

“It is not about abdication. It is about delegation. What we are finding is that people are walking away from the big fat cheque they thought they wanted because they realised that mowing the lawn isn’t as much fun as starting businesses.

“If they do take the big fat cheque, they are back in six months because they realise what they like doing is creating businesses and that taking VC money killed their business.

“The problem is that history is written by the winners. All the stories about being a successful entrepreneur are written by the likes of [Sir Richard] Branson and [Dame Anita] Roddick. It doesn’t mean that doing what Branson has done will be good for you. Very few people are cut out for that kind of leadership.”

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