This blog post is a revisit of something I wrote some time ago. It was one of the most heavily trafficked posts I have ever written though not at the time I wrote it. I have revised some things.
I have been a CEO for 33 years, before that an Army officer for five years, before that a cadet at VMI for 4 years, and most recently a CEO coach for 8 years. I grew up in a military family.
In business, I have founded private companies and grown them to some recognizable success; and, I have run a public company. My endeavors have been entrepreneurial and I have done a few turnarounds.
I have a lot of experience with both the theory of leadership and the practice of leadership. I have taught leadership. I have developed leaders both in the military and in business.
I have coached good and bad CEOs. I have helped bad CEOs become good CEOs. I have helped good CEOs become great CEOs and I have shepherded them to the pay window.
I have been in the leadership game a long time and at depth.
There is a huge difference between learning from an observer and learning from a practitioner. It is the difference between reading a book and lab work.
You can sit in an airplane in first class for 1,000,000 miles, but you still don’t know how it feels to take off and land a 737. [I have about 3,000 hours flying Bonanzas and find that flying analogies are very comparable to the startup business.]