What Entrepreneurs Can Learn About Undemocratic Decision Making From Bruce Springsteen
Bruce Springsteen achieved some of his greatest success with one of the greatest teams of all time, the E Street Band. So phenomenal was the band that in 2014 it was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in its own right. But when lead guitarist Steve Van Zant was once asked about how Springsteen made decisions he left no doubt that the Boss was well named: “This ain’t the Beatles,” Van Zant said wryly.
Having never held a regular job, Springsteen certainly qualifies as an entrepreneur and a phenomenally successful one at that. He’s a regular on The Forbes List of the World’s Highest-Paid Celebrities and in 2016 was ranked number 14 on the first-ever Forbes List of America’s Wealthiest Celebrities, with a net worth of $460 million. As Van Zant’s remark suggests, Bruce didn’t get there by running a democracy.
That’s not unusual. I don’t know any successful entrepreneurs who ran their businesses democratically. I do know plenty of failed ones who did.