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, or visit DNA Behavior.



Developing Unrealized Potential in Your Staff

I remember attending a workshop for managers presented by Stephen Covey when he asked the question “At what level are your staff resources being utilized?” He directed people to raise their hands if it was 95%, 80% and so on. Sadly, of the 800 plus people in attendance, very few could claim any substantial use of these resources. Covey made his point. It emphasized to me that really no-one (statistically speaking) believes that they are exploiting (in the good sense) the talents and possible contributions of their people. The tragedy here is that this is a lose-lose situation. People long to be a part of something that is significant, and companies want highly performing teams that produce results. This combination is not so common. I left wondering if it were really possible to attain such a lofty goal.

My study of the humanities over the years has convinced me that it is possible, when we both understand and know how to truly incent human beings, and actually put it into practice. The principles are actually very simple, yet it’s hard to obtain. Why? It’s because truth is apparent, but it’s not intuitive. I liken the task to be somewhat similar to training a Golden Retriever. When training a dog, you have to use positive incentives and stimulus that reinforces good behavior. If you want him to sit by the door and use your back yard for his bathroom, it will not help to beat him with a rolled up newspaper until he gets it right. One has to be patient, use treats and encouragement, to convert the animal into man’s best friend. People are much the same-they do not respond to, or appreciate being shamed, guilted or punished to perform well. If we can see clearly how it works in the animal world, then why is it so hard to do with humans?

The fact is, there are some professional practices and techniques that really work. After we adopted Bailey, our Golden Retriever, I took him to an obedience class and learned from the experts how to turn this beast into one of the most obedient and pleasant household pets. I could not have done it on my own. What I was taught made sense, but actually putting the principles into practice was tough.

To truly develop the unrealized potential of our staff, we must, as managers, use the following incentives:

  • Make them think. We call them out through discovery-based probing, by asking questions of them rather than giving them answers. It’s just like a college test. If we know we have to pass the test to graduate, we will study the material. No test I’ve ever taken began by giving me the answers. Telling bosses must convert their knowledge base into curious questioning that makes the staff member think. Once the manager finds good thinking, he must give that person a reward. It’s called encouragement.
  • Create a career path. True delegation is a staff development system. We should delegate primarily to develop the unrealized potential in our staff, versus working to just get stuff off our plates. The best way to do this is to employ levels of freedom for tasks we want to transition, then use the questioning process above to cultivate good judgment in them, which will translate into good decisions through repetition. Using a professional roles and responsibilities process works like a charm.
  • Provide stretch assignments. Using the battery of wholesome human incentives, as in athletic training, we build muscle and competency at one level, then “push” them to go further. When I first started to run as a way to stay healthy, I never imagined I could actually complete a marathon. Twenty two races later, I’ve learned to love the 26.2 course, and find it somewhat normal. We can all do much more than we think we can. We need a good coach (professional manager) to believe in us and encourage us along the way. It’s a process of cultivation that involves patience, time, and hard work. Only, they (our staff) have to do the hard work-the thinking, making judgments and the actual performing.

As mentioned above, to grow in academic prowess, as students we are provided materials (classroom training and books), but when it comes to applying that knowledge, we face tests. To review: the “tests” we provide our staff are in managerial questioning in the delegation and stretch request process-it develops unrealized potential. To short circuit that process, frustrate both boss and employee, and with shame hide rather than raise our hand at the next Stephen Covey like management seminar, just be a telling boss. High performing teams are cultivated over time; it’s a process that involves professional management skills and techniques focused on known human incentives. Does it make sense? Yes. Is it easy? No.

Coaching questions: Where might you being employing the “newspaper” therapy with your staff? How might you better incent them to be happy, loyal, performing employees? Write your answers in your journal.

Read more coaching principles from Dean Harbry on the Internal Innovations website.

New DNA Report Structure Highlights the Bright Spot of DNA Behavior

In all businesses, it is important to discover your greatest strengths in order to build client engagement and improve performance.? How does your solution or the service experience you provide differentiate you from your competitors? What sustainable value are you providing to your clients?DNA Behavior 2 Page Report, Financial Behavior Report, Financial Behavior Summary

Recently, we conducted research to discover the bright spot of DNA Behavior International. Through our research, we found that the greatest transformations have consistently come from our customized DNA Ultimate Performance Guide which summarizes Strengths, Struggles and keys for working with individuals based on their unique behavior.

To provide a simple summary that can be used by anyone including teams, employees, families and couples, we created the 2 Page DNA Summary Report. We believe that this simplified Report will provide the participant with more immediate meaning and a memorable experience from the outset.

This Report will be offered under all of the DNA brands including Financial DNA, Business DNA, and our other specialized brands.

Click here to View a Sample Report

Advisor Client Matching

This post is part 4 of our 8 part series on increasing Client Engagement from our Client Relationship Performance in the New Behavioral Economy White Paper. The insights will demonstrate in practical terms how to apply predictive behavioral insights to tailor client communication and provide unique client experiences.

Behavioral Insight 4: Advisor Client Matching

Earlier in this series, we learned about Chris Coddington and his meetings with a client named Frank Butler. Chris was given information about the 4 Communication DNA Styles and processes for discovering which communication style a client has. (Click here to read the previous posts in this series).

We asked Chris, Have you ever wondered why clients have suddenly left your business for no apparent reason? Or why some clients have taken a long time to make a commitment to your service? Why do some clients cause your heart rate to increase when they call? Or, what about that one-hour client meeting that has left you feeling exhausted?

The bottom line to all of these questions is that there is a lack of emotional engagement by Chriss clients. We said to Chris, You may be rationally serving the client very well, and he or she is satisfied with your service. However, the client is not emotionally connected to you, and therefore there is an inherent lack of trust. There could be many reasons for it. Usually the main reason will be that you have a different behavioral style from many of your clients. This will naturally lead to a gap in communication. Differences between people are wonderful, and they can be capitalized on to get great results. However, differences also divide and must be understood, accepted and respected by us in order to get along and build client relationships. This is also true of marital relationships, teams and business partnerships.

Advisor Client Matching, Know Your ClientWe suggested to Chris that in order to be successful in his business he would need to master the behavioral differences by adapting his behavior, and so would his team. As the Compatibility Matrix shows, it may be easier to match up to those clients who are similar to you in behavioral style. This means you have to adapt less and there will be a more connective energy. You can mostly be yourself and not have to worry about adapting as much.

However, the reality is that many clients, or at least their spouses, will be different to you. So you will have to adapt your behavior and communicate and serve clients on their terms. This is what we call the platinum rule of relationships.

We told Chris that a future trend will be advisors building client service teams that are a custom fit for the client. This provides the advisor with the opportunity to include team members with different styles to complement the advisors behavior. Imagine when a telephone call comes in and the team automatically knows who is to pick it up, then how to communicate with the client, and how to manage the work flow and even product or solution offerings. This really is the Ideal Advisory Business. Chris could also see that this strategy would be good for succession planning.

Matching Clients Based on Their Needs

Advisor Client Matching, Know Your Client, Financial Behavior

What are your thoughts? For additional information on increasing engagement of others, visit our Communication DNA Website.

To Learn More, read the full Client Relationship Performance in the New Behavioral Economy White Paper.

Engaging Your Employees

Mary Lorenz of? recently published an article focusing on management of employees, “How not to motivate employees: 10 management habits to break now“.

The ten habits that are pointed out in the article are great and include – Don’t assume people understand your reasoning behind decisions; Don’t forget that praise is about them, not you; and, Don’t speak negatively about other team members, their peers or senior management and leaders.

It is important to remember that everybody wants to be recognized for their strengths and in an environment where they can use them. This means leaders need to manage people based on their unique strengths. Further, they need to be emotionally engaged with communication customized to who they are. In the end this will build confidence which is the key to performance and realizing human potential.

Click here to read the article.

What are your thoughts?

Creative People More Likely to Cheat?

A recent Harvard Business School study suggests that creative people may be more likely to cheat (click here to for details on the study).

Creative people, behavioral profiling, personality, harvard business review, creative people more likely to cheat

An interesting article and we agree based on our own research into DNA Behaviors that people who are creative will have a natural instinct to work around rules, problems and barriers. However, whether they do or not will also be related to their character which will influence decision-making. You cannot say all creative people are of bad character. Also, we have seen those people who are naturally ambitious and competitive could also have a natural drive to cut corners to achieve goals. So, if a person is both creative and ambitious then this natural motivation will be even stronger, subject to character.

What are your thoughts?