Home Chicken Soup for the Startup: Dysfunctional Leadership Quotes

Chicken Soup for the Startup: Dysfunctional Leadership Quotes

It’s an unfortunate fact that great historical speeches and literature are often bastardized to justify poor management practices, leadership decisions and policies. There are at least 84 Chicken Soup for the Soul-related books on the market today and not one directed towards tech startups. As told through a series of abused “inspirational quotes”, here’s our effort to explain why.

“It is better to be feared than loved.” – Niccolo Machiavelli

Hold a contest for worst employee of the month, instigate a bathroom pass for your five person team and remove all flair from the office. If the message you’re hoping to express to others is that you’re a terrible human being, then by all means, engrave this quote into your desk.

If you know your enemies and know yourself, you can win a hundred battles without a single loss. – Sun Tzu

Send your vast army of interns on fact finding missions, monitor every signal from the competition’s trench and position yourself as the RC Cola to their Coke. If you define yourself by your industry leader and let your employees know it, they’ll be enthused to exclaim the inspirational company cheer “We’re number four!” every chance they get. After all, you can’t lose a battle if no one thinks you’re worth challenging.

“If you want a thing done well, do it yourself.” – Napoleon Bonaparte

Armed with reruns of The Apprentice, some advice from a second cousin and a Wired magazine article from 1996, you’re the most brilliant person alive. Reduce your designers to pixel-pushing monkeys, make the CTO your whipping boy and drive your product manager to prescription medication abuse. If you think you can code, design and sell better than any one else alive, then surely your chutzpah and street smarts will make you the Charlemagne of startups.

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