Thursday, April 06, 2006

Genius with a Thousand Helpers

In contrast to the good-to-great companies, which built deep and strong executive teams, many of the comparison companies followed a "genius with a thousand helpers" model. In this model, the company is a platform for the talents of an extraordinary individual. In these cases, the towering genius, the primary driving force in the company's success, is a great asset -- as long as the genius sticks around. The geniuses seldom build great management teams, for the simple reason that they don't need one, and often don't want one. If you're a genius, you don't need a Wells Fargo-caliber management team of people who could run their own shows elsewhere. No, you just need an army of good soldiers who can help implement your great ideas. However, when the genius leaves, the helpers are often lost. Or, worse, they try to mimic their predecessor with bold, visionary moves (trying to act like a genius, without being a genius) that proves unsuccessful. -- p 46, Good to Great

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