Grayish, cool day in the ATX which gets me thinking about the journey a startup CEO makes from ignorance to wisdom — OK, you do know that’s the journey, right?
As a young leader, I knew next to nothing about everything — so I thought, but I did have an advantage as I’d been in the Army for five years and had run largish outfits. My last command was 600 men in a unit that should have been 186 (The Army was contracting form Vietnam War levels and discharging a lot of draftees. I housed, fed, trained, disciplined them until their magic date arrived — a wild bunch. What a nightmare.).
Truly, everything I ever needed to know to be a CEO I learned in that assignment, but I just didn’t know it. I was 25.
I was young and dumb. I was drinking from the Fountain of Youth and Inexperience. There was a long line to get a cup of that stuff.
Some thirty-three years later, I was filled to overflowing with wisdom and experience, so much so that today I advise startup CEOs and assist venture capitalists prying their fully funded oxen out of ditches.
I can’t quite put my finger on when I stopped bathing in the Fountain of Youth and took up station in the Fountain of Wisdom and Experience. I just know I did.
OK, it was probably five years until I even knew there was such a thing.
Read your Malcolm Gladwall Outliers to learn why it takes five years.