Samurai vs. Senate

Entrepreneurs and go-get-em self starters act much like Samurai’s. They get to the goal, risking a lot because in many ways there’s not as much to protect. With a unit of 1, it’s relatively to translate idea into execution, strategy into results. It’s autonomous to some degree. And being nimble is just part of the game.
Yet place that entrepreneur or self-driven leader into a team or larger organization and that same approach of pulling out one’s sword to eliminate dissension really doesn’t work. Yup. It’s typically a bad scene.
That’s because co-dependent teams and / or big companies tend to be more and more like the Roman Senate — taking time to consider, to debate, to weigh, and then to select amongst many choices. When there are more things / ideas / implications to consider, it takes time and is more focused on optimization. Doing it wrong could affect many poorly so better to wait and do it right.
So a few take-aways:
– If you’re going to be a part of a team, realize you need to put down the sword and pick up a pen. Communication, context setting, and collaboration become very important when aiming to build a sustainable organization.
– Know yourself well enough to know if you should go into a firm vs. go solo. They’re different beasts – not better, not worse than others, just different.
– Knowing when and how to navigate for speed (aka samurai) and for long-term strength (ala senate) means knowing when to toggle between the two approaches. Expanding your own toolkit and perspective can be good.
*Phrase of Samurai vs. Senate got planted in my head last week but I can’t recall who said it or if I just made it up. Anyone who was at Web 2.0 remember so I can get attribution right?

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