The benevolent dictator as CEO

February 19th, 2013 / No Comments »

By Brad Garlinghouse, CEO at YouSendIt

The renowned venture capitalist Bill Gurley has a simple but very effective investment strategy: “you can’t make money with a consensus accurate prediction”. The basic principle is that outsized investment returns only come when you put your money where few others see opportunity.

This non-consensus approach also applies to leadership. Where equal say is a great thing for civil society, in business you can’t depend on the democratic process when making decisions. As CEO of YouSendIt, I occasionally have to remind my team that the company is not a democracy; it’s a benevolent dictatorship! It’s a tongue-in-cheek way of saying that, as CEO, I’m the ultimate decision maker while acknowledging that input from others is essential if I am to be an effective leader…….