Although it didn’t start that way, few people doubt the ability of Daniel Ek (CEO of Spotify) to be able to follow through any more. One early investor said, “When I first met him, he could completely articulate how this could affect the music industry and what the world would look like. I was shaking my head about his crazy ambition, but what he said at a meeting in 2007 has turned out to become true.” Ek is known for his willingness to sit through extraordinarily long negotiations with musicians and executives in order to prove his point, but he rarely compromises if he believes he is right. Unlike most CEOs, Ek is seen by most as “egoless” and focuses a good amount of time on his family. Although he is used to those who question his practices, Ek receives different kinds of criticism now that he runs a public company. One of these criticisms is the high rate of turnover among key executives in Spotify. Ek labels himself as “missionary” in that he likes to set 5-year missions for himself. He says, “That’s how I think about life. Five years is long enough for me to achieve something meaningful but short enough so I can change my mind every few years. I’m on my second five-year commitment on Spotify. In two years, I will have to make my next one. I will need to ask myself if I still enjoy what I’m doing. I’m kind of unusual that way, but it gives me clarity and purpose.” He expects others to do the same. Every year he sits down with his executives and asks them one question, “Is this what you want to do for the next two years?” In a process that he calls “excruciating,” he forces his employees into thinking about whether or not what they are doing is their true passion and whether they are willing to commit to another “mission.” This has led to a large number of people leaving, including some high ranking employees. Ek pushes them with questions that are meant to make transparent whether the employee’s goals are in line with the goals of their job. Ek notes that, “Very few people at Spotify last more than two or three of these rounds.” The employees don’t leave as a result of poor performance, they are just empowered to pursue their true passions somewhere else. Ek says that “That honesty is an important part of our culture.”
1.Is it reasonable for a CEO like Ek to expect his employees to have the same passion and commitment to their work as he does? (Min words 150-200)
2.Does Ek fit your perception of what a “transformational leader” is supposed to be? (Min words 150-200)
3.What are the advantages and disadvantages of having a leader with such a strong vision for the company? (Min words 150-200)
4.Before reading this chapter, which statement did you feel was more accurate: “Leaders are born” or “Leaders are made”? How do you feel now, and why do you feel that way? (Min words 200-300)
5. Consider the four dimensions of transformational leadership: idealized influence, inspirational motivation, intellectual stimulation, and individualized consideration. Which of those dimensions would you respond to most favorably? Why? (Min words 200-300)
Important Note: – Support your submission with course material concepts, principles, and theories from the textbook and at least Six scholarly, peer-reviewed journal articles.
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