Uber's Travis Kalanick has become the symbol of lousy leadership.
Even he recognizes that. And Kalanick is trying to bring in a #2 to help him both lead and manage the now-distressed company.
That brings back the focus on that age-old question: What is a good leader?
That used to be a major issue for the C-suite and management consultants to address in their speeches and books. We speechwriters/ghostwriters had to hustle to find fresh and provocative angles on the subject. That was back in the late 1980s.
Then the dot.com and, next, social networks like Facebook made the only meme that mattered innovation - more to the point, disruption. We hustled to find fresh and provocative angles on how companies and individuals could be more disruptive.
Well, Kalanick sure did disrupt.
But, as The Economist hammers, Uber still isn't profitable. Last year it lost $3 billion on revenues of $5.5 billion. Amazon had been able to get away with burning through a lot of cash. No one is in the mood to cut slack for Uber, though. So, the financial pickle is in addition to Uber's public relations problems.
Obviously, the world is back to the preoccupation: What makes a good leader in business?
Is it the Mark Zuckerberg type who may need to add some points to their Emotional IQ but is adroit at shifting from Plan A to B, C and D as the marketplace and technology change?
Or should business recruit a leader like Warren Buffett who seems genuinely wise?
And what about women in leadership? Over at Yahoo, Marissa Mayer didn't do too hot.
Already, clients and prospects are requesting sections of leadership in the content that speechwriters and ghostwriters assist them with.
The implications are huge. All institutions, ranging from educational to religious/spiritual, will be probing the issue of leadership - in an urgent way. "Remember Uber" could be the mantra which replaces "Move fast, break things."
Expect 2017 commencement addresses to deal with leadership.
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