[Part 1 of 4] What happened to the greatest salesman of our generation?
Some say he was the world’s greatest manipulator.
Some called him the magician of the century for creating one of the most infamous and successful unicorns in the world, before crashing it and walking away with more than a billion dollars.
The fairytales and rumours about his antics, behaviour, manipulation, lies and charm has engulfed the entire startup world like a deadly firestorm.
Bare-footed strolls on the streets of New York, insane weed parties, selling the “We” brand to his own company and encouraging employees to take shots of tequila during work.
Amongst all the craziness, I have to admit, he is one charming fella.
Charm is defined as the power or quality of delighting, attracting, or fascinating others.
It is a personality trait that can be learnt, but only a select few ever mastered.
Charm, like any superpower, can be used or abused too.
It is a technicolor gradient between persuasion and manipulation.
Steve Jobs, Travis Kalanick and Adam Neumann are prime examples of charming CEOs who can sell ice to an eskimo during a winter storm.
If you are into fictional characters, Optimus Prime is a good example of a charming leader.
Doesn’t really matter what he is saying or asking you to do, you would probably do it after hearing him speak in his deep, rich and trustworthy voice.
Adam, Adam, Adam.
From the miracle CEO behind one of startup’s hottest decacorn to a laughable meme-worthy fall from grace.
WeWork was at one point worth a whopping $47B.
After all the chaos and drama, it went through a SPAC-merger at a less than stellar $9B valuation.
Still a unicorn, don’t worry, but no longer double-digits.
His life at WeWork is nothing short of a Hollywood movie in the making.
Now that Travis has a movie, you can bet Adam’s one is coming up real soon.
Adam single-handedly convinced me that a private jet was quintessential to his work as a high flying CEO.
I’m dead serious.
Think about it.
110 cities, flying every other week, 3–5 cities a week, entertaining and meeting enterprise clients face-to-face to seal deals.
Each enterprise client is worth hundreds of millions.
Securing 1 enterprise deal can more than cover for the costs of the jet and provide jobs for so many more people.
It DOES justify the private jet to a large extent.
I don’t know the exact maths, but that’s pretty convincing in principle.
So what is up with the mythical billionaire since the implosion at WeWork?
Find out in the next part, where I dive into his first public interview since the implosion.
Do you think Adam Neumann is a charming CEO?
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