By Steve Moran
A team that never fights never wins!
Tomorrow, Elizabeth Holmes, the once famous and now infamous founder of Theranos — the biotech company that promised hundreds of medical tests from a couple of drops of blood for a cost that was a bit more than a cup of coffee — will go to prison, where she will serve an 11-year sentence for defrauding investors of millions and millions of dollars.
The Unchallenged Dreamer
Dreamers make the world go ’round. It is because of dreamers that we have iPhones, Starbucks, FedEx, Amazon, Southwest Airlines, and more. The problem with dreamers is that they hardly ever have an idea they hate. They can only see the possibilities.
They also know that for every dream they have, there are hundreds or thousands of people out there just waiting to tell them why it is a bad idea, why it can’t be done. Smart dreamers appreciate the value of detractors because it helps them produce things that actually work and make money.
In the case of Theranos and Elizabeth Homes and her partner, they hated the detractors — those who tried to put the brakes on and ask if what they were doing was working, was possible. Rather than embracing the questions and questioners, they crushed them.
The result: loss of hundreds of millions of dollars and prison for the founders.
Not Just Dreamers
Crushing dissent is not just a dreamer problem, it is a leadership problem that keeps leaders and companies from reaching their full potential. These leaders hate to be second-guessed. They hate to be questioned, to be told their idea is a bad one.
Every Team Needs a Rebel
Every team needs at least one person who, while being a huge fan of the organization and the leaders, also is willing to challenge everything — willing to say, “What about …,” or, “I am not so sure that will work, and here is why ….”
That person will keep you from making mistakes and help you be a better leader and have a better organization. They are to be embraced and celebrated.