Steps to Management Success – Step 63: Recognize entrepreneurial types

Written By Rick Frishman Published April 1st, 2010


Recognize entrepreneurial types

Some people thrive on autonomy and can get things done with minimal supervision, whereas others are more comfortable with being given specific directions and a greater sense of structure. Being able to manage each type of employee for optimal results requires flexibility as well as an ability to discern these two very different types of worker.

WHAT IT MEANS: Treating every worker equally does not mean that you have to treat every worker the same. Those who truly have an entrepreneurial bent (self-managing, resourceful, able to solve problems independently) can do more for you—if you give them the opportunity. Similarly, nonentrepreneurial types will be more likely to thrive in situations where the “rules” and contingencies are clearly delineated—with ready access to a supervisor for any clarification or problem solving that might be needed. Adjust your managerial style accordingly, and everyone benefits.

ACTION PLAN: Find out who your budding entrepreneurs are by throwing out some long-term goals and challenges to your workgroup and inviting input on a strictly optional basis—kind of like an extra-credit project. Some workers will have some answers right on the spot. Others will get back to you with some recommendations that might be well worth considering. Those workers who opt out or can’t complete this task without asking a slew of questions are more likely to fit the “worker bee” profile—and be more likely to excel in a meticulously defined job role.

EVEN BETTER: Brainstorm with the entrepreneurial types to develop a consensus solution, and then empower this team (or its most impressive member) to write up the proposal and either implement it or present it for senior management’s consideration. Entrepreneurs respond well to challenges, so challenge them: what would it take from you (or senior management) to implement the new plan?

(Excerpted from: 10 Clowns Don’t Make a Circus. . . and 249 Other Critical Management Success Strategies by Steven Schragis and Rick Frishman)

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