Behavioral Finance

Entrepreneurs Cant be Lone Wolves and be Successful

Entrepreneurial Lone Wolves Can’t Be Successful

Entrepreneurs can’t do it alone. From start-up, the entrepreneur has many roles and will not have the skill set for all of them. Building the right team around them is critical to building a successful business.

Sir Richard Branson makes the following observation:
People tend to think of entrepreneurs as lone heroes, but this isn’t how it works in real life. Many live up to their reputation as risk-takers and some remain outsiders, but despite this outlier status, entrepreneurs need support to be successful. In fact, were a lot like Formula 1 race-car drivers: The person in the cockpit gets all the glory since fans tend to forget about the pit crew and the behind-the-scenes effort it takes to keep the driver on the track. Business is no different; an entrepreneur does not succeed alone.

Behaviorally smart entrepreneurs, who know their limitations, are more likely to have conversations about the skills they lack and reach out to others to fill the gaps.

Those individuals who have completed the DNA Behavior Natural Discovery process and read our significant research into Mastering your Entrepreneurial Style understand their genetics as outlined below:

1. Resilience (Measured by the Fast-Paced trait) – they achieve results, manage setbacks and rationally take quick action.
2. Risk Taker (Measured by the Risk trait) – confidently take risks and tolerant of losses.
3. Creativity (Measured by the Creative trait) – innovative with ideas and seeks to differentiate.
4. Work Ethic and Focus (Measured by the Pioneering trait) – pursues goals and is often ambitious and competitive.
5. Charisma (Measured by the Outgoing trait) – outgoing, connects with a lot of people and influences people to follow them.

 

Key TraitsSource: DNA Behavior International

More importantly, they will have a deeper insight into their entrepreneurial genes and feel empowered, through this knowledge, to bring others on board to take up some of the heavy-lifting.

As the business grows, entrepreneurs tend to feel besieged by the day to day workload. The appointment of someone, we will refer to as an Integrator, is a key first hire. Integrators should have the experience, skills, and temperament to manage the day to day business operations and understand how the entrepreneur ticks. This will ensure the business has a strong foundation. Further, it releases the entrepreneur to focus on building the business and using their entrepreneurial talents to do so.

Generally speaking, the talents are:

  • Big picture thinking
  • Creatively solve problems
  • Sees opportunities to go to market
  • Manage the pressure and risk
  • Has little patience for the day to day minutia

When the Entrepreneur and the Integrator have insight into their own and each other’s personalities, their communication style, and their decision-making approach, they understand where and when they need to modify their behavior to be a successful team.

Here are a few keys to building the Entrepreneur/Integrator relationship:

  1. Mutual respect
  2. Both passionate and driven to build the business
  3. Communicate directly
  4. Clear on boundaries
  5. Open to learning from each other
  6. Trust built on transparency and openness

Understanding each other’s strengths and limitations ensures the gaps’ are filled, and the business can move forward.

When an entrepreneur has no insight into their personality, hitting a no man’s land,’ such as dealing with day to day issues, managing 10-30 people and still trying to envision the business, they need to understand that failure is a very real possibility.

If there is no Integrator introduced, the next phase, when the business is getting off the ground and showing signs of success, will stall because:

  • It hasn’t the people to grow sales
  • It hasn’t got the innovation to keep growing.
  • It hasn’t the problem-solving capabilities

Once success is on the horizon, 30 employees can quickly become 50, 100, 500. This stage, moving into a sales organization, requiring sales systems and customer relationship management systems/processes, is where many entrepreneurs struggle. Such a level of hands-on day-to-day minutia (their interpretation) to grow can frustrate them.

This is where an Integrator and Entrepreneur working well together can take a vision to market.

To learn more, please speak with one of our DNA Behavior Specialists (LiveChat), email inquiries@dnabehavior.com, or visit DNA Behavior.

 

 

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Today I’m Going to be an Entrepreneur!

 

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Yes, there are times individuals wake up with an amazing idea and are convinced they are the next Sir Richard Branson, Bill Gates or Mark Zuckerberg. They persuade themselves that they are an entrepreneur. They may even attract investment for their idea. The market might be excited by this new offering BUT the truth is that most entrepreneurs fail to get their businesses off the ground. Even if they do, building and sustaining a successful business is rare.

The 2015 US Census Bureau reports that 400,000 new businesses are started every year in the USA but that 470,000 are dying, a worrying statistic.

John Chambers, Cisco’s CEO of 20 years, says this – More than one-third of businesses today will not survive the next 10 years. Shikhar Ghos, in his recent Harvard University study, claimed that three out of every four venture-backed firms fail.

The strengths that make people entrepreneurs are counterbalanced by struggles that can get in the way of success. Without this self-understanding, decisions will be made that can cause the enterprises to fail.

Much research exists now to confirm that entrepreneurs are born and not made. Having conducted extensive research to validate these findings, DNA Behavior International has identified the top five (5) genetic traits that are to be found in entrepreneurs.

  1. Resilience (Measured by the Fast-Paced trait) – they achieve results, manage setbacks and rationally take quick action.
  2. Risk Taker (Measured by the Risk trait) – confidently take risks and tolerant of losses.
  3. Creativity (Measured by the Creative trait) – innovative with ideas and seeks to differentiate.
  4. Work Ethic and Focus (Measured by the Pioneering trait) – pursues goals and is often ambitious and competitive.
  5. Charisma (Measured by the Outgoing trait) – outgoing, connects with a lot of people and influences people to follow them.

Having these genetic traits does not guarantee success for entrepreneurs. Learning to be behaviourally smart in using the powerful genetic ingredients they were born with is more likely to deliver success.

Of the 5 identified entrepreneurial traits listed above – resilience leads the pack. Building a business, handling the enormous pressure of setbacks, rejection of ideas, sustaining a business, managing staff, and dealing with market expectations, will never be plain sailing. If you are ever to see blue water, understanding the importance of resilience is a key factor.

Through their DNA Behavior Natural Discovery Process, the entrepreneurial genetic traits can be measured. The graphic below highlights, in order of strength, from the top down the behavioral factors (genes) which an entrepreneur exhibits:

FactorsPerformance

 

The resilience gene is measured by the fast-paced trait. When this trait measures more than 55 – results will be achieved, setbacks will be managed and the individual will be able to rationally take quick action in any given circumstance.

Success in business is rarely about how many challenges you face so much as it is a matter of how you respond to the challenges. Entrepreneurs who are behaviorally smart, and understand their personality and genetic makeup, will have a level of resilience which allows them to face an almost constant barrage of challenges without ever weakening their resolve or losing their passion.

Interestingly the DNA Behavior Research program found that when comparing entrepreneurs who had built a $10 million turnover business as against a $1 million turnover business, that all the key DNA factors do not measure differences in an overall sense, but they do measure stronger.

Do you see yourself as an entrepreneur? Are you heading up a business you founded? Have you taken over a family business? Whatever the situation that brought you to this season of life, if you don’t know your entrepreneurial traits and understand how to manage them, and perhaps more importantly, how to fill the gaps in your talent, you may be heading for the failure statistic graveyard.

To learn more, please speak with one of our DNA Behavior Specialists (LiveChat), email inquiries@dnabehavior.com, or visit DNA Behavior

social-entrepreneurship

Effecting Change: The Key Traits Of Social Entrepreneurship

Today’s entrepreneur uses their creativity to apply practical, innovative and sustainable approaches to benefit society, often with an emphasis on those who are marginalized and poor. They tend to be passionate leaders of change, and don’t believe that the way things have always been done is the way things should remain. The character of these social entrepreneurs is a passion to improve the lives of others in their community and beyond.

DNA Behavior International in their recent extensive study titled Mastering your Entrepreneurial Style determined that Creativity is one of the key genetics found in entrepreneurs. They are creative and innovative. Along with other key talents such as Pioneering and Risk Taking these social entrepreneurs see problems as an opportunity to be creative.

Source: DNA Behavior International

Stephen Distante CEO of Vanderbilt Securities and President of the New York Chapter of the Entrepreneurs Organization (EO), makes this observation:

“Social entrepreneurship has disrupted that old-school business mindset. The DNA of the social entrepreneur is to engineer our businesses to make a positive social impact from the very start rather than waiting decades before contributing. That’s the modern way of doing business, and because it’s what Millennials and younger generations expect, it will soon be the only successful way to run a company. And it’s the way of business that EO has recently made a very powerful commitment to support.”

This new breed of entrepreneurs determines that they can make profit and purpose sit comfortably together. The pursuit of money and stuff no longer fit this generation of entrepreneurs. Their goals are higher. It’s not all about the pursuit of wealth. More importantly, they are focused on how to use their success to help others.

That is a significant shift in thinking.

To learn more, please speak with one of our DNA Behavior Specialists (LiveChat), email inquiries@dnabehavior.com, or visit DNA Behavior

The Battle of the Entrepreneur Sexes

Battle of the Entrepreneurial Sexes

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Are there differences between men and women entrepreneurs? According to Harvard Business Review, there are!

While men and women rated themselves similarly on many dimensions, women were more confident in their ability to efficiently manage operations and in their vision and influence, while men expressed greater confidence in their comfort with uncertainty and finance and financial management.

According to the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor 2014 Women’s Report, women around the world have narrowed the gender gap in entrepreneurship by 6% from 2012 to 2014. They are finding paths to launching more businesses in industrialized and developing nations, according to a new report. On average, more women globally are taking advantage of educational gains and perceived economic opportunities to start businesses that can pave the way for financial independence.

In their United States Study titled, Force Multipliers How Three Fundamental Adaptations Can Help Women Entrepreneurs Scale Big, Ernst & Young found that:

  1. In the US, women start businesses at 1.5 times the rate of men and are at least half-owners of 46% of privately held firms.
  2. In 2015, the number of enterprises with full or partial female ownership was expected to increase by nearly 7% with sales growing to reach $2.967 trillion, representing nearly 18% of projected GDP in 100 countries, as measured by the World Bank.
  3. Yet, only 2% of women-owned businesses in the US break $1 million in revenue
  4. Businesses owned by men are 3.5 times more likely to reach the $1 million threshold.
  5. Women-owned businesses currently employ 7.8 million workers in the US and generate $1.3 trillion in revenue.

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However, in a Global survey conducted by the French bank BNP Paribas and consultancy firm Scorpio Partnership, their findings found that women-run businesses reported average annual sales of $9.1 million, while their male rivals manage about $8.4 million. Additionally, they discovered that female entrepreneurs launch more businesses (4.9) than male entrepreneurs (4.3).

Ernst and Young conclude by suggesting entrepreneurs develop a flexible, adaptive leadership style, highlighting the need to be self-aware and to know when to change focus, and how.

This last observation from Ernst and Young, i.e., entrepreneurs develop a flexible, adaptive leadership style, highlighting the need to be self-aware and to know when to change focus, and how holds the key to understanding the mind and genetics of entrepreneurs, regardless of gender.

DNA Behavior International, through extensive research using their highly-validated Business DNA Natural Behavior Discovery Process, has identified several key personality traits that define entrepreneurs, and detailed in their latest book, “Mastering Your Entrepreneurial Style“. These findings go to the core of individuals knowing themselves and understanding their hard-wired genetics. The Discovery process specifically reveals, in addition to the hard-wired personality traits, the characteristics inherently ingrained into successful entrepreneurs, regardless of gender. This is the “go to” behavior which repeatedly reveals itself under pressure, during all the stages of the entrepreneurial journey.

The natural hard-wired behavior reflects a person’s genetics and the experiences from the first three (3) years of their life. So, we recommend the use of the Business DNA Natural Behavior Discovery Process to measure a person’s entrepreneurial genes.

Regardless of the success of the individual sexes – each demonstrates certain degrees of measurable traits that determine whether they have the entrepreneurial gene.

The five (5) key traits of an entrepreneur are listed below Figure 1. Figure 2 identifies how these traits break down between men and women entrepreneurs.

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Figure 1

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Figure 2

Understanding how to manage and use these entrepreneurial traits determines success or failure in terms of the enterprise, regardless of what that is.

Finally, the National Council of Women in Technology (NCWIT), whose analysts assessed data to discover the differences between men and women entrepreneurs determined, there was almost no difference between men and women company founders

  • Both had an equally strong passion for building wealth.
  • Both started their companies to capitalize on business ideas.
  • Both enjoyed the culture of startups.
  • Both were tired of working for a boss.
  • Both had a long-standing desire to own their own businesses.
  • Their average ages at startup were the same.
  • Men and women were equally likely to have children at home when they started their businesses. (However, men were more likely to be married.)

Do you have what it takes to be an Entrepreneur?

It is more than a desire to control your own destiny, though that’s a major key.
Not every person possesses all the qualities required to be successful in business. Whats important is to understand if you have the entrepreneurial genetics. Completing the DNA Behavior Discovery process is a first step to revealing your personality traits.

To learn more, please speak with one of our DNA Behavior Specialists (LiveChat), email inquiries@dnabehavior.com, or visit DNA Behavior

merger aquisition

Mergers and Acquisitions – Putting People before Numbers for Success

According to various research and a Harvard Business Review report, the failure rate for mergers and acquisitions (M&A) sits between 70 percent and 90 percent.

Marc Lore President & CEO, Walmart.com | Founder & CEO, Jet.com in his LinkedIn article Empowerment after Acquisition makes this observation: Often after one company buys another, you hear leaders talk about how they’re going to empower the executives of the acquired firm, we’re going to leave them alone, we’re not going to mess with their culture, I just want them to keep doing what they’re doing. If you simply tell them to keep doing what you’ve been doing, you take away the exciting part of their careers – the part where they face new challenges and experience the sense of accomplishment that comes with finding inventive solutions.

Merger and aquisition 1

Mergers and acquisitions are tough – that’s why so many fail; not because on paper they were not a sound business move, but because little or no attention was paid to the people involved in the M&A.

Case Study 1: Some years ago, a major financial organization relocated its back-end functions to a superb new site 100s of kilometers away. Families were relocated, tempted by significant financial incentives. The rumor mill was in overdrive suggesting this was part one of an inevitable M&A. The relocated staff couldn’t settle, families were splitting, staffers were not performing as well as in the past and the business was suffering.
As an independent consultancy, we were brought in to work with the relocated teams. My first question to senior management was is the business to be sold the response was no. I suggested the CEO speak directly to the staff via video link to assure them.

Merger and aquisition 2

A few days after this assuring video link took place, the headlines announced that the business had been sold. Maybe there were sound business reasons for this – but no one was thinking about the impact this breakdown in trust would have with the employees.

For years after this the company floundered. Lessons were learned but at the cost of family breakups, loss of trust and the failure of senior management to put people before numbers.

Case Study 2: When approached by a major airline to facilitate a merger, they explained that they wanted to use an independent third party to be the buffer between the various parties. They determined that this would remove any emotion from the merger and subsequently declared how valuable this approach had been. Further, they requested every team leader, manager, and senior decision maker complete the DNA Behavior Natural Discovery process. They needed to understand the impact such a merger would have on their people. Armed with this knowledge they could make plans that ensured their people migrated successfully and that the business of the airline continued without a hiccup. Not only did this build significant trust it also encouraged the other parties to the merger to complete the same process. All parties now understood their people and could manage the merger more effectively.

merger and aquisition 3

There is nothing more empowering to any business than to demonstrate trust and transparency. People are smart, just set out a vision and point them in the right direction and they will be successful. Sometimes the path they take might be different from what you expected, but that’s the nature of individuals. There is nothing more rewarding than watching a group of talented people all with different personalities come together to resolve a situation.

This kind of releasing and empowerment is made more effective when individual personalities, communication styles and behaviors are known.

Tips

  1. Communication: messages need to be relevant to the audience. During periods of uncertainty, people want to know whats going to happen to them. Further, knowing in advance how people wish to be communicated with, ensures messaging is heard and understood.
  2. People react differently under pressure. Knowing this up front makes managing any potential hot spots easier.
  3. Some people thrive on change, this awareness could help leadership identify useful ambassadors to support the messaging.
  4. Leadership that is weak (or who absent themselves from the process) lose credibility very quickly. A leader who projects energy, is honest and clear in keeping the people informed, is far more likely to hold the teams together.
  5. People before numbers as a mantra is more likely to bring success to any complex change such as M & A.

To learn more, please speak with one of our DNA Behavior Specialists (LiveChat), email inquiries@dnabehavior.com, or visit DNA Behavior.

We Cant Agree on Anything.

We Can’t Agree On Anything

Nothing is more exasperating than watching a group of smart, qualified, intelligent executives deliberate about a key strategy, and fail to reach an agreement. In frustration, the team turns to the CEO to make the decision. Yet this is counterproductive, as whatever the CEO decides, some of the team will resent – and that resentment leads to a lack of a commitment to delivering an outcome.

It’s even more frustrating when attempting to reach a forward-thinking strategic plan for the business.

How you might ask, can this be so? These people are our leaders. They set the direction of the organization. We rely on them to make sensible decisions that can impact our careers. So, how come they are in disarray?

The CEO, after a few attempts to reach an agreement, called in a DNA Behavior facilitator to oversee the discussions.

These are just a few questions that went through my head as I watched, incredulous, as a significant group of executives began the process of planning for the next stage of the company’s direction.

As I sat to one side and observed their interaction, it was clear the room was heavy with bias, one-upmanship, egotism, and overconfidence pitched against compliance, indifference, and timidity. The assertive ones held their ground. The more vocal got louder. And the reflective and thoughtful seemed to be brooding.

Nothing was being resolved. Every stake put in the ground took the team further away from making decisions.

The DNA Behavior Solution

Each member of the team completed the Communication DNA Discovery Process, an assessment predominantly focused on revealing individual communication styles. Patterns quickly emerged showing the relationship gaps and areas where communication was breaking down, and why.

Independent research shows that Communication DNA leads to solving 87% of business issues, which are hidden as they are communication-related.

Once the team understood how their communication style was getting in the way of bringing their talent and behavioral smarts to the table, outcomes began to change.

As the Goal Setting individuals encouraged input from the Information and Stability individuals and the Lifestyle individuals used their approach to encourage everyone of the importance to reach a solution – suddenly everyone felt they had a voice. And rather than chaos, a solid structure began to take shape.

The team was then able to focus on their task. Egos, bias, and intolerance were replaced with listening, acknowledging input, and intelligent suggestions – a lively, but meaningful debate.

CDNA

As the task proceeded, the Lifestyle individuals suggested a flow chart to capture ideas. The Information individuals populated the flow chart, carefully catching ideas and suggestions. And the Goal Setters captured the key milestones for taking the organization into the next season and all agreed that it was a job well done.

From my perspective, the lesson learned for them as a strategic planning team of executives was the importance of understanding how to communicate with each other. Without the Communication DNA Discovery Process, this team would have failed to meet its obligations to set out the strategic plan for the next season. Important skills and talents would not have been brought to the table. Individuals would have left frustrated, and the business would have suffered without a cohesive sense of direction.

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To learn more, please speak with one of our DNA Behavior Specialists (LiveChat), email inquiries@dnabehavior.com, or visit DNA Behavior.