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Can Organizations Lead by Darth Vader/Nick Saban Thrive When Leaders Retire?

Short post today.  I'm interested in the longevity of performance when a dynamic individual leader either leaves or simply GTDTTKDT.

GTDTTKDT - Gets Too Damn Tired To Keep Doing This

GTDTTKDT happens at the end of a dynamic leader's career.  A good example is Nick Saban, who is the head coach and let's face it, the CEO of the University of Alabama football program.  He hasn't got GTDTTKDT yet, but if he stays around too long, it will happen.

Saban's ruled Alabama Football with an iron fist, and it shows in multiple national championships.  Has he created a culture than can be sustained when he retires? Saban

The answer is probably no.  Leaders who rule organizations with a iron fist are effective because they are control freaks who value process and one way above everything else.  They aren't delegators, which means they generally don't build culture than can sustain results after they are gone.

There's probably a good reason for that. 

Iron fist/command leaders are rare birds, individuals who are willing to focus on things and generally be disagreeable at any moment to people who aren't down with the "plan".

I was watching an ESPN special on Saban and Alabama last night, and Saban went on a 3-minute rant as 30 coaches and hired hands for practice listened regarding the following topic - that there should be a visual illustration of a drill to be ran that's covered in a meeting, then a walk through, before you actually attempt to run a drill in practice.

He was proposing that there was a 3-day process before a new drill should be attempted in a football practice.

He was pissed that it didn't happen on a single drill on an pedestrian August day.

He's a freak, an outlier.  You can't teach it. 

When Darth Vader shows up, you either commit to the process and hand him to the keys to the Space Force complex, or you run like hell.  Once you're in, you're in.

But don't expect the command and culture leader to transfer a culture to his assistants.

As it turns out, no one has the will of the Darth Vader in front of you.  



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