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About Face

Bringing in help to grow? Beware of hidden agendas.

This story appears in the August 2007 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Years ago, when Steve Jobs recruited John Scully from Pepsi, Jobs asked him, "Do you want to change the world or sell sugar water to kids?" Scully moved to Apple and--almost immediately--fired Jobs. Apple's fortunes took a dive under Scully. Today, Jobs is back on top, and Apple is once again changing the world.

There's a saying that you'll repeat the lesson if you don't learn from your mistakes. Although I studied Jobs' mistake, I didn't learn the lesson and wound up hiring my own Scully. He, too, was swayed by my vision for changing the world. And like Mr. Sugar Water, once hired, our new leader asked the three founders of my company to leave the premises. Within a year, sales at The Rich Dad Company had plummeted. No new products were introduced. Expenses skyrocketed as he hired "senior management"--all with large salaries. The new executive team ceased almost all communications with the old company staff. A them vs. us culture began.

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