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Uber CEO Travis Kalanick has earned a reputation for having a short fuse. In addition to his apparent personal anger management issues, there are the stresses that come with running a giant company — and Uber recently has been losing executives. When it rains, it pours. What’s happening with Kalanick, and can Uber recover its mojo?
Many people have issues with anger, but few are in the spotlight. When you are in the spotlight, everyone pays attention. That’s especially so for people who have become successful and for those who are responsible for the well being of many others. For the very successful, it may seem as though everyone wants to take a shot. It may seem that everyone wants to bring you down.
That appears to be the case with Kalanick, but I have a different take. Cut Kalanick some slack, I say — he’s only human. Being CEO of one of the fastest-growing companies is a big accomplishment. Being able to build a company does not mean you can handle the pressure that comes with it. It’s a helluva challenge.
Most of us could not do it, but I’m not giving Kalanick a pass. Yelling at one of his drivers was bad behavior that displayed a lack of leadership skills. The thing is, I am sure Kalanick already knows that. Anger is an emotion, and too many people have less control over their emotions than they would like to have. Many know when they have crossed the line — but many others don’t.
Angry outbursts such as Kalanick’s often are illogical. Would you get angry at someone with a broken arm for failing to open a door? Still, everyone has emotional issues of one kind or another.
The solution for a high-profile CEO like Kalanick is either to learn how to improve in your problem areas, or find someone else to be Mr. Outside while you step into the shadows as Mr. Inside. Countless businesses have taken…