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.
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:
- Mutual respect
- Both passionate and driven to build the business
- Communicate directly
- Clear on boundaries
- Open to learning from each other
- 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.