Aside

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.
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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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