Explorers make lousy Leaders.

The Explorer

Many orthopedics founders act like explorers.

Explorers are driven by “discovery”. They want to look around and try different paths. Experiment. Go down a pathway to see that it’s a dead end, then climb out. Climb a tree to get a new perspective, look in a cave to see if there is anything useful. It’s all about the quest for learning.

The employees find Explorers hard to follow, get frustrated, and eventually will lose trust in the entire mission… but that’s what makes a GREAT Explorer.

This is often why founders (who act like Explorers) get replaced by Leaders in early stage companies.

The Leader

Leaders focus on a singular goal. They move linearly. They don’t get distracted. They are not curious. “See that mountain? That’s where we are going.”

Leaders clearly communicate the plan to reaching the mountain and are specific about the reward when the team gets there.

Sure, employees can do their own exploring privately, but not the Leader. The Leader must present a clear plan, a clear reward, and share the vision. That’s what makes a GREAT Leader.