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The Heretic is a free dispatch delivering insights into what it takes to lead into & in the unknown. For entrepreneurs, corporate irritants and change makers. Raw, unfiltered and opinionated.

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Apr 18th, 2015 Share: Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Share on LinkedIn

You Need Operators

Recently I’ve been thinking a lot about what it takes to succeed.

Not the initial success of getting a product or service out into the world or even getting to product/market fit. I mean the daily grind of ongoing success. The ugly underbelly of building lasting success. The inglorious part of entrepreneurship: When the initial sizzle has worn off, the world started to turn its attention to the next big thing and you’re left with the gargantuan task of making it work day to day.

The more I think about this, the more I realize that you need operators. You need people working with you who are just getting shit done. The folks who hunker down, know what it takes, bring the right skills and just do the work. No glamour, fancy talking, strategizing all day long — just plain vanilla and solid execution.

As Theodore Roosevelt once remarked: “The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; […]”.

Your job as a founder is to find these people. They are not flashy; they often take some time to warm up to you; they are the salt of the earth. And they will do what it takes.

I had the privilege to work with and for incredible operators in my life. Operators who had a vision and knew their strategy — and when the time was right, they dug their heels into the ground and moved heaven and earth. Every single time I was part of such a team — we won. We dominated our market. We built lasting value for our customers. And we had tons of fun doing so.

Be an operator. Surround yourself with operators. And get cranking.

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