GLOBAL CEO, ENTREPRENEUR, PROFESSOR, AND MENTOR

August 25, 2019

Friendship and Leadership Are Easily Confused

Entrepreneurs often develop strong feelings about the connection of friendship to business success—feelings that can get in the way when they enter a corporate setting.

Consider an entrepreneur—let’s call him Mike—who sold his company to a big corporation and agreed to stay on as the head of the small division created from his startup. He had brought his head of marketing with him and considered him a fast friend. After all, the two of them had spent several years in the trenches together building the startup into a vibrant enterprise and three years doing the same thing in their rapidly growing new division. But when a corporate reorganization came along and the marketing head was moved to corporate, Mike mistakenly regarded the challenges that ensued as a test of their friendship rather than as a test of his leadership. 

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