If the Shoe Fits: Entrepreneurship can Beget Arrogance

If the Shoe Fits: Entrepreneurship can Beget Arrogance

Post from: MAPpingCompanySuccess

A Friday series exploring Startups and the people who make them go. Read all If the Shoe Fits posts here

5726760809_bf0bf0f558_mThis is not about politics, but when I read a description of Karl Rove in an Op-Ed column I found amusement as to how easily you could change the word “consultant” to “entrepreneur” and “buy advice” to “invest in/join the company.”

And yet another is that prophets are people too, blinded by their own self-interest, swayed by their own self-promotion, neither omniscient nor omnipotent. (…) Of course arrogance, or at least self-assurance, is a consultant’s stock in trade. That’s what we buy when we buy advice: not just the content of it but the authority, even the grandiloquence, with which it’s delivered.

Finding needs, taking risks, starting companies is the basis of what entrepreneurs do, but, when they do it has enormous impact on their potential for success.

The problem is that the best ‘when’ is a function of hindsight and history.

But as we all know, success breeds arrogance, not always, but too often.

Martha Stewart, who controls 90% of the voting rights of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia and, as the old saying goes, spends her days cutting off her nose to spite her face, is a good example.

Her net worth is inextricably tied to the value of the shares. That would seem obvious to everyone except, perhaps, Ms. Stewart herself. She continues to collect lavish multimillion-dollar compensation and perks while her company teeters under the weight of huge losses, its shares trading for a fraction of their former value. The paradox is that if the stock had risen even $1 a share in recent years, Martha Stewart would be wealthier now than if she had taken only nominal compensation from the company.

And arrogance brings us back to the description above.

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Use only as directed.
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Flickr image credit: HikingArtist

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