Chapter 

2

The Humility Imperative

Originally Published
 in 
Inc.
June 22, 2011
 ∙ 
Photo credit: 

This is a message to every entrepreneur, CEO, and leader: Dig a hole, throw your ego into it, and pour concrete on top. Find humility instead.

Hello, my name is Dave Balter, and I'm a CEO who used to be totally ego-driven. (There. I said it.) This ego gave me the confidence to be a great leader, but also nearly destroyed BzzAgent, the word-of-mouth pioneer I created. Had I not dramatically adjusted my leadership style, in all likelihood my partners and I wouldn't have found our way to a successful exit: This spring Tesco subsidiary Dunnhumby acquired BzzAgent.

I believe—due to an inflated market, easy cash, and entrepreneur glorification—that there are thousands of companies destined to fail if their leaders, who may feel like business deities today, don't immediately turn their hubris into humility...

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