It was 18 years ago today that Kurt Cobain took his own life. Some of you may not even remember that day; those of you who do probably remember exactly where you were when you heard the news.
One surprising thing that came out of the research for No Brown M&M’s! was the discovery that Cobain was something of a perfectionist. Imagine that. Despite the slacker image and the “oh well, whatever, never mind” attitude he made famous, he was very much on top of his role as the CEO of Nirvana. He had a very clear vision for the band, its music, and its direction. He knew exactly what he wanted and he got it.
There are many roles entrepreneurs have to play, especially in the start-up phase of a venture. But in the long run, none is more important than being the visionary. If I ever run a company large enough, I think I’ll call myself the Chief Visionary Officer. Most every other aspect of running a company can be delegated to someone, but the leader’s role in establishing a clear vision for the business and inspiring others to join and follow can’t be delegated—at least not easily. More important, it shouldn’t be.
And such was the case with Nirvana.