Data Dome Resources – White Papers: Can Entrepreneurs Let Go?

middle curve

When, Why, How Can Entrepreneurs Let Go?

One of the most critical times in the development of a business is that final moment the entrepreneur chooses to go to the next level - to build an organization.

Many of the energies that were so beneficial initially - pioneering, big-picture, risk-taker, forging ahead no matter the obstacles, doing anything and everything it takes to make it go - may now require other supplemental energies in creating a vital team.

Stepping back and adjusting focus is quite a different pace than forging ahead full steam.

Your pioneering ways may have produced some new and unique products or services, but there are times to absorb, fine tune, and adjust. Interviewing, training, and developing relationships takes time and effort.

So the key is defining who you need, finding them, hiring them and keeping them.

Creating wealth is developing the ability to recruit the right people, maintain the right work environment to keep your team focused, and constantly communicate and motivate each member of your team.

But there are pitfalls everywhere.

So often, when first expanding, the entrepreneur wants to find someone as energetic, dynamic, willing and risk-taking as they are.

So in effect, they are duplicating their strengths and at the same time, duplicating their weaknesses.

It may be a natural tendency to hire people like yourself - you communicate easier, you tend to motivate similarly. You are hiring with instinct, not your mind, and it is usually not smart.

Your needs are not satisfied by duplicating yourself, but by complementing yourself - allowing you to use your strengths and compensating for your weaknesses.

Bernard Marcus & Arthur Blank, Hewlett & Packard, Don Keough and Roberto Goizueta - different styles bringing different strengths to the company.

The key is to define each position on your new team. Strategic planning includes determining your needs and finding the right people to fill them. Finding people with the technical skills is relatively easy: résumé, references, etc. The soft skills are a different matter, and actually more important.

We have come a long way in the past few years in having helpful tools to objectively analyze a position, job or situation in a user-friendly manner. Combine that with one of the many available tools that objectively evaluate soft skills and you can eliminate most of turnover.

Match the soft skills of the person with the soft skills appropriate for the job. You can go a step further and motivate each new member of your team by identifying their passions in life; their values, and making sure that between their work and time away from work, they can fulfill those passions.

It takes time to find the right people, more time to train them, and even more time to listen, adjust and motivate them; but, the rewards are unparalleled.

So often the new entrepreneur takes too long to realize turnover is not good, control tactics work only in the short term, and performance and productivity are greatly enhanced only with a focus on people as the number one resource of the company.

(Arthur G. Schoeck, Competitive Edge!, May/June 1999)

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