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The Head and the Heart

Yesterday I was chatting with a friend at my co-working space about what makes a good CEO, a good founder, and a good early-stage employee.

He was lamenting that because his current CEO believes so deeply in his vision, he's completely blind to any feedback, data, or customer insights that might lead them to diverting from his path.

I'm not going to rag on the CEO too hard; I've certainly found myself falling into this trap as well.

The thing is, sometimes you need that undying devotion and belief to lead the charge.

Without it, the company is passionless and lacks inspiration. The same determination in a leader that will drive you crazy when you try to present reasoned arguments finds its source in the same well of confidence that started the venture to begin with.

On the flip side, working with someone who is all data, no heart, no art, no humanity is less likely to survive the valleys that come with entrepreneurship.

I shared this in a newsletter a couple months ago:

The trough of sorrow there in the middle is virtually guaranteed.

And so, doing daring and creative things requires a mix of the head (data) and the heart (vision).

There will be setbacks, frustrations, and the infamous Trough of Sorrow.

The heart gives you the grit to get through the Trough of Sorrow, the brain maps the way out.

This is how I was thinking about the blend of those things last night:

What do you think? Would you describe those quadrants any differently? Does this resonate with you?


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