Tuesday, February 22, 2011

True Entrepreneur vs. Business Entrepreneur Defined

In coaching business people, I find that there are two types of entrepreneurs. You have the Business Entrepreneur (Business E) who is basically a good business person who has learned to do entrepreneurial things. Then you have the True Entrepreneur (True E) who is driven to do entrepreneurial things because either they are born this way or they develop a personality for it.

How do you tell the difference between the Business E vs. the True E? Here are some of the usual (but not always) characteristics of the True E.

• High energy, optimistic, enthusiastic
• Can be decisive, forceful and impulsive, everything is urgent
• Big Picture focus, hate dealing with details and paperwork, disorganization is common
• Frustrated easily, and especially if losing time or control, can become angry or belligerent
• Generally are very likeable, but misunderstood, relationships are often strained
• They enjoy living on the edge, which can wear out the people around them
• Highly competitive, and always play to win
• They see risk as opportunity and adventure, enjoy high risks that others would avoid
• They have more ideas than time and resources to develop them
• Old research: True E’s fail 3.8 times before they succeed; failure is the price they pay for their education, and they rise from the ashes to the next opportunity
• They are sought after for their excellent sales abilities. 93% of highly successful (read $ix-figure) sales people are True E’s

Many more characteristics (both positive and negative) of a True E have been identified. I have written articles, and there are books if you are interested in learning more. The True E’s have been studied to the extent that they have a testable and easily identifiable profile, especially useful in hiring champion salespeople. I use a personality test (assessment) that allows you to identify a True E profile in just a few seconds. The True E personality is truly amazing. Find helpful entrepreneurial info at http://www.mackarrington.com/goodies.htm

Self-Leadership tip: If you have the characteristics of a True E, it is normal to feel a mix of excitement and adventure along with a sense of being different, misunderstood and at times alone. 
Question: Do you believe entrepreneurs are born, or developed?

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Fears of Leadership: Not Knowing

There is a fearsome, dramatic scene in the movie U-571. The junior officer of a US submarine takes command of an enemy submarine with a few members of his crew. This submarine is damaged, they are not familiar with the controls and only two of them can read the enemy language. Suddenly faced with a crisis, his men ask what to do? His reply, “I don’t know.”
As a leader you don’t always have to know. You do have to be able to find out.
The chief engineer took the young officer aside, asked for permission to speak and said, “Don’t you dare say to them boys, ‘I don’t know,’ those three words will kill a crew.” What happened then?
In one crisis after another, the young officer never again says, “ I don’t know.” He rallies his crew and calls for information, he calls for options, he engages their minds and their hearts to do what must be done.
Because he was “not knowing,” he learned to seize the opportunity to learn from those around him, to take their contributions and move forward. He was able to turn “not knowing” from a weakness into a strength.
As a professional business and personal coach, I have become very comfortable with not knowing. It allows me the opportunity, adventure and even fun of exploring the knowledge, wisdom and greatness of my clients, and to put their strengths into play to reach their goals. Not knowing can be a powerful strength in calling for options, rallying your crew and discovering possibiliites not obvious beforehand.
Self-Leadership tip: Shift the fear of not knowing into the adventure of finding out.
Question to consider: What are some situations where what you already knew prevented you from finding out other facts you needed to know? What happened?

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Fears of Leadership: Failure

A competitive mountain bike racer once said something like, “If I see the tree, I hit the tree.” Fear of failure can lead you to focus on the wrong things, and then you will surely fail. Fear of failure can cause you to stop just short of success. Fear of failure can blur your vision and you miss a great opportunity.
Often our fear is of the unknown. Get the facts, calculate the risk and then you can choose: take the risk, don’t take the risk, or pass the risk to someone who sees it as an opportunity.
And what if your best is not good enough? General George S. Patton once said, “Success is how high you bounce when you hit bottom.” If you, fail, fail knowing you have done your best, and plan to bounce high.
Self-Leadership tip: opportunity and risk usually go hand in hand. Do not be stopped by your fear of failure, but get the facts and decide for yourself if something is worth doing.
Question to consider: At what point do you stop gathering facts and decide to move ahead or not?