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Startup Leadership


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Table of Contents

Preface ix 1 Success Requires More Than Entrepreneurship 1 PART ONE PREREQUISITES: MASTERING THE SKILLS OF ENTREPRENEURIAL LEADERSHIP 2 Are You Selfish Enough to Be Selfless? 17 3 Enterprises Are Needy 33 4 Building Relationships 50 5 Motivating Others 83 6 Leading Change 94 7 Creating a Personal Leadership Strategy 113 PART TWO APPLICATION OF ENTREPRENEURIAL LEADERSHIP SKILLS 8 Strategizing Fragile Growth 129 9 Organizing to Succeed 146 10 Hiring and Firing 164 11 Leading Teams 176 12 Leading Through Crises 197 13 The Selfish Rewards of Selfless Entrepreneurial Acts 211 Appendix A Motivations, Traits, and Skills 223 Appendix B The Five Essential Entrepreneurial Leadership Skills 225 Appendix C Characteristics of Projects, Processes, and Culture 226 Appendix D Characteristics of Enterprises and Their Leaders in Stages One Through Four 228 Appendix E Relationship Building and the Benefits and Costs of Cooperation, Competition, and Retreat 233 Appendix F The Five Prerequisites of Change (The Five Ducks) 236 Appendix G Ten Basic Strategic Questions 237 Appendix H Five Phases of Crisis Resolution 239 Notes 240 Acknowledgments 246 About the Author 249 Index 251

About the Author

Derek Lidow is a longtime global CEO, innovator, and entrepreneur. Among other accomplishments, Lidow is widely known as one of the world's top experts on the electronics industry; his contributions range from patents to value chain applications that have forever improved companies as diverse as Sony, Samsung, Philips, Goldman Sachs, and IBM. Today, Lidow teaches Entrepreneurial Leadership and Creativity, Innovation, and Design at Princeton University. He keynotes on the subject of startup leadership and is a media commentator; Lidow's coverage to date includes the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, BusinessWeek, Forbes, Bloomberg, the Economist, Nikkei, Reuters, and Taipei Times, as well as many top bloggers. Prior to joining Princeton's faculty, Lidow was founder and CEO of iSuppli, which he sold to IHS in 2010 for over $100 million. Lidow's degrees are from Princeton and Stanford, where he earned a PhD in applied physics as a Hertz Foundation Fellow. He is based in New York City and Princeton, New Jersey. For more information, please visit


"Derek Lidow is right--entrepreneurs, not mere ideas, lead companies to their full potential. Lidow puts this powerful idea to work, alongside the full breadth and depth of his own experiences running growth companies, in Startup Leadership . I recommend this book for every founder--regardless of your stage--because Lidow's invaluable insights, personal leadership strategies, and framework will help you improve the trajectory of your success." --Rich Karlgaard, publisher, Forbes magazine; board director; investor; entrepreneur; and author, The Soft Edge "Trust me because I've seen and done virtually everything that's possible in business today. Whether you're an investor, board member, CEO, accelerator, small business owner, or aspiring entrepreneur, Startup Leadership is mandatory reading. Thanks to the smart and detailed advice of serial success story Derek Lidow, the book will help de-risk virtually any enterprise. It will also expand your levels of innovation level, profits, culture and success. I recommend you get a copy--and give a copy to someone who needs it." --Bruce Hack, advisor, angel investor, board director, and former CEO, Vivendi Games "The entrepreneur's journey is often misunderstood as an idea coming to life. In fact, it is entrepreneurs themselves who must learn to create and lead an organization. Startup Leadership provides aspiring and experienced entrepreneurs powerful tools to grow as leaders." --Brian O'Kelley, founder and CEO, AppNexus "This is not another book on how to build a successful startup. Lidow demystifies relationship building, negotiation, and vision creation with clarity and balance. He shows what it takes to become a more confident leader who builds startups with less risk and better outcomes. Your transformation into a better-equipped entrepreneurial leader begins now." --Natasha Gajewski, founder and CEO, Simple Health Inc. "If any book contains the secrets of entrepreneurial success, this is it! I recommend Startup leadership to both budding and proven entrepreneurs." --Greg Olsen, founder, Epitaxx and Sensors Unlimited " Startup Leadership is the handbook for leadership all entrepreneurs should read while scaling their business." --Chris Kuenne, founder-entrepreneur, Rosetta "A must-read for aspiring and experienced entrepreneurs!" --Jeremey Donovan, author, How to Deliver a TED Talk "This book fills an important gap among books about entrepreneurship, and Derek Lidow shows what it really takes to make a successful startup. Startup Leadership focuses on the essential, yet elusive, leadership elements required to navigate a venture from idea to self-sustainability. Future entrepreneurs will be thankful to have this companion along for the entire journey." --John Danner, professor, Haas School of Business, UC Berkeley "Finally, an easy-to-read and digestible blueprint for entrepreneurs that will empower them to build and lead sustainable enterprises. Lidow encapsulates years of trial and error and teaches what's required for successful entrepreneurship with a clear methodology." --Jeanne Gray, founder and CEO, "Finally, from the true-life experiences of a highly-successful entrepreneur, comes a how-to book that is more than an academic compendium. Derek Lidow captures the essence of the leadership qualities needed for success, not just in the formation and early stages of a venture, but along the path to a significant stand-alone business. This hands-on book is an instant classic." --Ricardo B. Levy, professor, Stanford University, and author, Letters to a Young Entrepreneur

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