In the last couple of days there has been quite a focus in the media on the best start-up businesses to work for. The first thing that popped into my mind was “I wonder how the heads of these businesses are doing as leaders?”. Starts ups are challenging on a number of levels. Exciting as a new product or service comes to the market with great passion backed by generally highly intelligent and driven individuals BUT also frequently a lack of leadership skills. We’ve seen a few high profile entrepreneurs exhibiting interesting behaviours of late. As a business grows it becomes less about the individual and more about the team. Great leaders surround themselves with great people and harness the collective wisdom.
As business psychologists we often see dysfunctional behaviour in young businesses through no major fault of anyone’s. Lack of experience and development plus pace of business leads to ‘winging it’. It’s not always young businesses either. We see dysfunction in larger and/or mature businesses where senior managers put their functional team needs above those of the leadership team that they belong to. Patrick Lencioni’s ‘The Five Dysfunctions of a Team’ captures this brilliantly.
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