By Andrew Ward (auth.)
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Additional resources for The Leadership Lifecycle: Matching Leaders to Evolving Organizations
This feeling that their existence should make a difference to the world in which they live is the strongest common characteristic among successful Creators. It is, however, also the characteristic that ultimately leads to the failure of many of the organizations they create, as the Creator fails to let the organization progress into the next stage of its lifecycle. The heroic mission is developed in the Creator, and is strengthened over time to the point where it becomes a coherent objective, or mission, in which the hero sees him or herself as the focal point for change in the world.
Each team is self-governing and has the responsibility for hiring and ﬁring its own people, including recruiting new members from inside or outside the company. The CEO of that company uses an analogy to describe the de facto up-or-out policy of employment in the company: It’s like you go down to the corner when you’re trying to have a pick up game of basketball. You go down there every day, nobody picks you up, pretty soon you better go ﬁnd something else – maybe go try baseball or something. 15 However, the CEO of the second company takes the opposite approach, by making heavy investments in training and education for his team: If people don’t know what they are doing, what good are they?
Behind this idea, the entrepreneurial Creator is usually driven by a quest for immortality – seeking to make a contribution that will not be readily eroded by the sands of time. In his book on CEO retirement, The Hero’s Farewell,1 Yale University’s Jeffrey Sonnenfeld identiﬁed the concept of heroic mission as an internal feeling that one (the leader or hero) has a unique role to fill and that only the hero is capable of carrying out the responsibilities of the job. ” This feeling that their existence should make a difference to the world in which they live is the strongest common characteristic among successful Creators.
The Leadership Lifecycle: Matching Leaders to Evolving Organizations by Andrew Ward (auth.)