The title of Sarah Palin's book reminds me of something I have known during my entrepreneurial career:
Every start-up needs a rogue.
Or a wild duck. Think of all those V-shaped gaggles of geese flying south right now. Now, picture one goose that is flying out of formation, making its own way against the headwind, no wind drafting, maybe not even knowing the built-in compass heading. Goodness knows that flying in formation is nature's way of protecting the flock.
But, if I am running a company—particularly a new one—I want at least one rogue or wild duck on my team. The rogue gives me something I don't have: someone who will tell me when I am wrong or full of it.
Typically, the strongest "rogues" I have had are closest to the customers. They interact with them, know them well, and—truth be told—work for them, not for me.
If you have someone like that on your team, you are all the stronger for it.
G. L. Hoffman is a serial entrepreneur and venture investor/operator/incubator/mentor. Two of his companies have traveled the entire success path from the garage to IPO. Currently, he is chairman of JobDig, which operates LinkUp, one of the fastest-growing job search engines. His blog can be found at WhatWouldDadSay.com.