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Ben Horowitz on leadership and management

Can you think about systems? Can you think about how broad-scale systems interactions occur and what the implications are?

… In order to make that system work you have to be able to see the company through the eyes of the people who are doing the work, which are usually the people who are not in the room when you’re making the decision, and you have to understand how it’s going to affect them, how it’s going to change their behaviour and so forth.

A lot of Leadership is … my own definition of it… is the art of getting people to follow you. As Colin Powell says, “If only out of curiosity.” That involves having a vision, being able to articulate it, being inspiring, creating a feeling among people that you care about them and you care about their goals and objectives and what they want out of life. People want to follow people who have some number of those attributes.

Management gets more into, okay, you have this great vision, you’ve articulated it and everybody likes it, but how do you operationalise it, how do you break it down into its steps, how do you make sure that people who need to communicate, and these kinds of things.

A lot of leadership is knowing what to do and getting people to follow you. Management involves getting people to do what you know, and that’s a little bit of a different part of your brain. Leadership’s a little more on the creative side, management requires a little more discipline and systematisation.

Ben Horowitz on The Tim Ferriss Show #392

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