The Apathy Implosion and Lessons in Leadership
I recently had a team implode around me. As is often the case, it wasn't some external stress that did the job so much as a lack of passion and strong leadership. It was a slow death but it almost seemed inevitable.
To rewind a bit, I've been taking the Tech Entrepreneurship course through the MIT/Stanford Venture Lab (VLab) online platform. It's a semester-based course where the students form small teams and build a plausible business plan, which is presented at the end of the course in January.
The first couple weeks were a frenzy of virtual team building, where the 30,000+ students that began networked and facebooked themselves into groups of 3-5. That was a fascinating experience in and of itself -- which approaches were destined to be successful? I saw cases of future founders championing their idea, seeking to rally some free labor to develop it. Then there were groups who bonded across continents because they shared a passion for solving a particular problem. Often, the easiest way to begin chunking the enormous initial set of students was by geography. The San Francisco locals Facebook group eventually swelled to over 30 people.