They Commit to a "Cause".
Entrepreneurs have a strong sense of mission. Once their course is set, they pursue it with an obsession close to paranoia. Their "cause" priority is so high that they have the ability to ignore social or cultural norms, and possibly law, to endure. They see their objectives with a laser clarity, and anything in their path is fair game for flattening. This commitment obsession may be born in cognitive dissonancethey see themselves as talented, yet are pursuing goals with a present negative or low return. Since they also see themselves as rational, what they are doing must be "right"! The future is attainable.
Their priority is almost wholly on ends. Thus,
justifiable means are chosen, and aided by their mastery at
shaping circumstance. To accommodate these variables, their
values may come in fourth of the four. Purpose takes
priority over principle, and all systems are
"go". Propriety, and even possibly the law,
may have to bend. This may not be as devious as it
sounds. Obviously, they have a keen understanding of
cultural norms and the law, and embrace them whenever
possibleand hold their adversaries to them with a
vengeance. It's only when they are threatened or blocked
that their priorities shift. Nonetheless, successful
transgressions can lead to more transgressions, and standards can
slip, creating a climate of means where their devoted
cadrea team of really true believersfall in
step. As seen earlier, however, extensive entrepreneurial
experience tends to allow the selfdiscovery of core
values. Hopefully, they are solid enough to maintain a
They Embrace Competence.
Entrepreneurs have the unique quality of not being threatened by others more talented than themselves. Rather than fear competence, they embrace it. They recognize their own competence and limits, and are able to recognize it in others. They are mindful of where it is needed and take action to fill the void. Further, they are able to attract it, recruit it, manage it, develop it, and reward it. They know that they greatly enhance their chances of success by surrounding themselves with the best. What they dread is being dragged down by mediocrity.
They understand the leverage and immediacy of experience and talent. Simply put, they know that talent beats training in building a team. They hire, inspire, "retire," to keep competency current as their demands change with modification and growth.
They understand that the true test of competence is the ability to assume leadership over people who may not yet know that they're subordinate. That it's the ability to take charge, keep power, and accomplish what they believe needs doingwhen ends are still being molded, jobs have not been assigned, resources are not yet in hand, and strategy and methods are not defined. It's having a "cathedralbuilding" vision and a "hodcarrying" psychology to matcha complete mind and hand involvement, and keeping all engaged at top capacity.
They are always mindful, too, to keep from being overthrown by the competent others who surround them.
They Are Situationists.
Entrepreneurs are aware of the importance of the moment. They do not accept situations as given, instead they can read situations swiftly and masterfully shape both themselves and the situation to their advantage. They know the importance of creating an impression consistent with circumstance, and they are masters at ittaking any guise that suits the occasion. They attempt to determine time, timing, and time perspective, place, who's in, who's out, and suitable boundaries.
They have the flexibility to adapt their ethics to fit circumstance should the situation call for purpose over principle. They are skilled at avoiding detection in unseemly acts. They have the ability to maintain a cognitive set and are not pulled offcourse by the emotions of the moment. They can create dissonance and ambiguity, however, to distract and disrupt their adversaries.
For quick response, they develop a large cadre of strategic
contacts and connections whom they can count on for help or who
will alert and apprise them of developments they need to know.
Their action in situations sets a tone and pace that prevails in
their ongoing pursuits. They make it a point to be
first, fast, and on target shaping or being responsive
whatever the situation calls for. They stay on top.
Since situations dictate action, these actions can be
contradictory from time to timefor example, being perfectly
clear vs. clouding intent.
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Last Updated 03/15/98