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Startup Leadership: How Savvy Entrepreneurs Turn Their Ideas Into Successful Enterprises Hardcover – March 3, 2014
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“Derek Lidow is right―entrepreneurs, not mere ideas, lead companies to their full potential. Lidow puts this powerful idea to work, alongside the full breadth and depth of his own experiences running growth companies, in Startup Leadership. I recommend this book for every founder―regardless of your stage―because Lidow's invaluable insights, personal leadership strategies, and framework will help you improve the trajectory of your success.”
―Rich Karlgaard, publisher, Forbes magazine; board director; investor; entrepreneur; and author, The Soft Edge
“Trust me because I’ve seen and done virtually everything that’s possible in business today. Whether you’re an investor, board member, CEO, accelerator, small business owner, or aspiring entrepreneur, Startup Leadership is mandatory reading. Thanks to the smart and detailed advice of serial success story Derek Lidow, the book will help de-risk virtually any enterprise. It will also expand your levels of innovation level, profits, culture and success. I recommend you get a copy―and give a copy to someone who needs it.”
―Bruce Hack, advisor, angel investor, board director, and former CEO, Vivendi Games
“The entrepreneur's journey is often misunderstood as an idea coming to life. In fact, it is entrepreneurs themselves who must learn to create and lead an organization. Startup Leadership provides aspiring and experienced entrepreneurs powerful tools to grow as leaders.”
―Brian O’Kelley, founder and CEO, AppNexus
“This is not another book on how to build a successful startup. Lidow demystifies relationship building, negotiation, and vision creation with clarity and balance. He shows what it takes to become a more confident leader who builds startups with less risk and better outcomes. Your transformation into a better-equipped entrepreneurial leader begins now.”
―Natasha Gajewski, founder and CEO, Simple Health Inc.
“If any book contains the secrets of entrepreneurial success, this is it! I recommend Startup leadership to both budding and proven entrepreneurs.”
―Greg Olsen, founder, Epitaxx and Sensors Unlimited
“Startup Leadership is the handbook for leadership all entrepreneurs should read while scaling their business.”
―Chris Kuenne, founder-entrepreneur, Rosetta
“A must-read for aspiring and experienced entrepreneurs!”
―Jeremey Donovan, author, How to Deliver a TED Talk
“This book fills an important gap among books about entrepreneurship, and Derek Lidow shows what it really takes to make a successful startup. Startup Leadership focuses on the essential, yet elusive, leadership elements required to navigate a venture from idea to self-sustainability. Future entrepreneurs will be thankful to have this companion along for the entire journey.”
―John Danner, professor, Haas School of Business, UC Berkeley
“Finally, an easy-to-read and digestible blueprint for entrepreneurs that will empower them to build and lead sustainable enterprises. Lidow encapsulates years of trial and error and teaches what’s required for successful entrepreneurship with a clear methodology.”
―Jeanne Gray, founder and CEO, AmericanEntrepreneurship.com
“Finally, from the true-life experiences of a highly-successful entrepreneur, comes a how-to book that is more than an academic compendium. Derek Lidow captures the essence of the leadership qualities needed for success, not just in the formation and early stages of a venture, but along the path to a significant stand-alone business. This hands-on book is an instant classic.“
―Ricardo B. Levy, professor, Stanford University, and author, Letters to a Young Entrepreneur
- Publisher : Jossey-Bass; 1st edition (March 3, 2014)
- Language : English
- Hardcover : 272 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1118697057
- ISBN-13 : 978-1118697054
- Item Weight : 1.04 pounds
- Dimensions : 5.9 x 1.1 x 9.25 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #1,250,762 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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What is really significant about the book is the clarity of Derek's four stages of enterprise maturity. He makes very clear that from startup, that the enterprise leader needs very different competences at each stage.
1.Stage One: Customer Validation starts once the idea becomes reality and ends as soon as customers commit.
2.Stage Two: Operational Validation starts as customers use the product and ends when processes ensure customer satisfaction.
3.Stage Three: Financial Validation starts when the value proposition delivers on its promise through a viable business model and ends when the company scales and is consistent.
4.Stage Four: Self-Sustainability starts when the leader develops not only new customers, but new products and ends (or never ends) with a process of continuous development of both.
For an entrepreneur to be able to identify the priorities associated with each stage, she must demonstrate an appropriately developing set of skills. Not only that an understanding of the stages will help to ensure that the right things are done at the right time.
While I might not agree with all the traits necessary to an EL that Derek lists, he is very clear about the need for a personal leadership strategy. I value that part of the book particularly, because my journey was one of a struggle with the evolving leadership needs as my own business grew and morphed unconsciously from one stage to the next. Had an awareness that the book offers been available to me ahead of each stage, I'm sure I would have made far fewer mistakes.
Unlike many books where appendices are really appendages, Derek's 8 appendices provide really valuable tools and in particular his 'Five Phases of Crisis Resolution' could save many an entrepreneur her business. The phases are: crisis identification; planning and deployment; crisis containment and mitigation; recovery; and lessons learned. You will have seen unsuccessful entrepreneurs ignore this last phase, even if they pick up on the other four. Let that be a lesson!
Most entrepreneurs don't fail because they made technical, marketing or organization errors: They failed because they did not create the relationships or knew how to work with people to learn and solve problems. They failed because of lack of self awareness, lack of self-knowledge - lack of personal leadership. And this is what Startup Leadership is about.
The adage "know thyself" is a key theme in this book - and this is actually quite difficult for most people: self awareness - and the ability to improve, or otherwise adjust to your own particularly set of personal skills. This requires lot of introspection and self knowledge - often impossible without the right guide. Fortunately this book serves as that kind of guide - taking the entrepreneur on a bit of a deep journey into the communications skills, relationship skills and other interpersonal skills needed to be successful. And every step of the way, Lidow connects these interpersonal skills to the overall goal: Starting and Building an new venture.
Most of the concepts in this book, I personally didn't think about until after, maybe 10-15 years and 6 ventures of my own. I never had the wisdom or the guide. But now, someone has distilled this wisdom into a single book. This is not only for new entrepreneurs just starting out, it's also for the experienced - those who mentor and advise entrepreneurs. Instead of trying to play Obi Wan Kenobi to younger entrepreneurs, getting them to recognize those hard-to-quantify internal skills they need to hone - we can just hand them this book.
It is able to provide practical, real life examples and give the right amount of theories to use for your own situation. It feels like having a conversation with your old friend who gives you his best advise. It provides you a mirror to have a close look at yourself and your leadership skills and than gives you the tools to make corrections and changes.
I love its quirkiness: like, when it reads your mind that you want to get to Inc. magazine's 500 list of fastest growing companies and than tells you why you should aim for more/beyond that; or when it tells you the benefits of cooperation and than makes it clear that "not only is it costly, fragile, and inflexible, but it also can distract you from noticing other more productive and valuable uses of your energy and resources".
Lidow's stories of people and startups not only feels like real, but they are real. These are business and social startups that you hear and read about and here you are learning about their challenges and their solutions. It is a great read, the language, even when describing theories, is easy even for a non-native American, like me. The only minus is that, while Lidow's website is great, I think there is a need for space for further discussion on the topic of the book so that we can share our challenges and the lessons learned with the experts of the field and the like-minded entrepreneurs.