ideas, and to understand people and their motivation."These abilities are essential features of what is
known as "meta leadership."Meta leadershipmeans "to lead other leaders."In order to be
successful in a dynamic environment, entrepreneurs need to work with other leaders who are proactive
and willing to take responsibility and action. An entrepreneur does not have the time to be constantly
telling other people what to do.
Guo maintains, "My number one rule is always get people who are better than myself. Who ever
you are hiring make sure they are better than you."This, of course, can create quite a challenge. Guo
points out that he is often the youngest member of the team. Thus, he does not feel he can be their
"boss" or "commander.""I respect my team," he says. "They have a lot more experience than I do, in
many things. That's why I have them on my team. They know what I need better than I do. They
don't need to come to me to ask for permission for things. My role as the leader of the company is to
provide the necessary resources so they can best do their jobs."
Guo claims, "The goal of the leader is to understand what motivates people and leverage that, not
just show them a path." He points out that you cannot make leaders do things. You have to get them
to subscribe to your vision, and ask yourself, "What motivates them?"Answering this question
involves the behavioral skill of taking 'second position' with key people in order to understand them
and what motivates them. Taking second positioninvolves the ability to step into another person's
point of view or perspective with respect to a particular situation. It involves shifting perspectives and
viewing the situation as though you were another individual; to "be in his or her skin," "walk a mile in
his or her shoes," "sit on the other side of the desk," etc. This is a crucial ability in order to be able to
create a successful product, company or team.
To develop a marketing plan, for instance, you must put yourself in the shoes of potential
customers. To establish a financial plan and raise capital, an entrepreneur must be able to take on the
perspective of investors. To build and motivate an effective team, the leader must be able to view the
situation through the eyes of his or her employees. To establish strong alliances and relationships, the
entrepreneur needs to take the point of view of possible partners.
As one successful entrepreneur put it, "You have to work with everybody, everyday (your
employees, your investors, etc.) to bring your vision together."