Why Successful Entrepreneurs Are Often Such Difficult People

Books on leadership often paint an unrealistic picture of the successful manager or entrepreneur: He or she is always slow to criticize and generous with praise, never raises his or her voice, never dresses an employee down in the presence of others, etc.

These ideal entrepreneurs and executives are certainly out there—but just as certainly, they are outnumbered by the vast majority who are quite different from the prototype depicted in the large number of books and seminars on leadership.

Successful entrepreneurs are frequently nonconformists. They swim against the current and are often perceived as difficult by others. Even as young people, many of them had problems bowing and scraping to authority figures.

Entrepreneurs such as Bill Gates and Steve Jobs were able to captivate, motivate and inspire their employees. In this respect, they fit the profile of outstanding leaders. But they also had a different side and were extremely difficult bosses.

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