Home » Archive » Three ingredients in a leader

, written by Jeremy. Read the commentary.

Beyond bellowing bunters and mussed hair, what makes a good leader? Who draws in the cash when everyone else is furiously writing proposals?

Three must-haves: trustworthy, deeply knowledgeable, and all-in.

1. Being trustworthy covers a multitude of sins. A mistake made with the best of intentions is always more palatable than one made out of apathy. And an omission based on integrity is instantly forgiven where one made out of suspicion is never forgotten.

2. Deeply knowledgeable entrepreneurs are reassuring to investors. It’s difficult to be a leader and lots more easy to be a guide. From the back row we can holler out instructions without doing much else but the leader must make sense of all the ruckus because, ultimately, that’s where the buck stops.

3. Finally: “all-in”, “hooked”, and “lots of skin in the game” are metaphors for unquestionable commitment and need. The entrepreneur has to need to win. Win or die. Without that it’s just someone else’s money on the table and when push comes to shove, the investor’s money won’t count for much.


Nice post, but I would replace the word “all-in” to “stick-to-itiveness.”


I agree, that’s exactly what it means.

In the last few months I regularly hear myself saying, “I want to see you go all-in on this … before I put a nickel on the table.”

Stick-to-itiveness leaves out the hook.