The Hard Thing About Hard Things
The Guys are beside themselves in this show, punny as ever and conversant about the subject material: Ben Horowitz book, THE HARD THING ABOUT HARD THINGS – Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers. This book relates the experiences and insights of the author, who is Co-founder of Andressen Horowitz., one of Silicon Valley’s most respected and experienced entrepreneurs. The book is written from the aspect of high tech companies, high tech start up, and has a great deal of useful insights and tools.
Ray and Zen are in rare form with the exploration of the book’s concepts and presentation of critical things a CEO must do to lead effectively. What’s the secret of being a successful CEO? Sadly, there is no secret, but if there is one skill that stands out, it’s the ability to focus and make the best move when there are no good moves.
The only thing that prepares you to run a company is running a company. This means that you will face a broad set of things that you don’t know how to do that require skills you don’t have. Perhaps the most important thing that the author learned as an entrepreneur was to focus on what he needed to get right and stop worrying about all the things that he did wrong or might do wrong.
The hard thing isn’t setting a big, hairy, audacious goal. The hard thing is laying people off when you missed the big goal. The hard thing isn’t hiring great people. The hard thing is when those great people develop a sense of entitlement and start demanding unreasonable things. The hard thing isn’t setting up an organizational chart. The hard thing is getting people to communicate with the organization that you just designed. The hard thing isn’t dreaming big. The hard thing is waking up in the middle of the night in a cold sweat when the dream turns into a nightmare. The hard thing about hard things—there is no formula for dealing with them. Building a company inevitably leads to tough times.
The Guys meander through several important points Mr. Horowitz makes about leadership; the stuff that few master in the development of successful companies. His insights, and the corroboration of real-life experiences of your co-hosts, are fine fodder for the pundifications and witty remarks the made the show fun. You’ll enjoy it, too, as well as pick up on some tasty treats for your own business and leadership.
Some of the areas you’ll hear about are:
- When Things Fall Apart: The Struggle
- CEOs Should Tell It Like It Is
- The Right Way to Lay People Off
- A Good Place to Work
- Why Startups Should Train Their People
- Why It’s Hard to Bring Company Execs into Little Companies
- Management Quality Assurance
- The Right Kind of Ambition
- The Dangers: The Peter Principle and The Law of Crappy People
- One-on-One Conversations
- Follow the Leader
You’ll want to grab Ray’s Crib Notes on the book, too. The salient points are described in great style and clarity so you get the best of the book in short order. You can request the Crib Notes simply by using the form below:
Tune in to the Guys for the usual bantering about business and make sure to look into the other shows we’ve produced, white papers we offer and Ray’s great crib notes on popular business books. Thanks for listening and…