execution Tag All blog entries tagged as execution http://www.htgpeergroups.com/blog/latest.html Fri, 28 Nov 2014 14:10:36 +0000 Joomla! 1.5 - Open Source Content Management en-gb Common Traits of Founders as Entrepreneurs http://www.htgpeergroups.com/blog/entry/common-traits-of-founders-as-entrepreneurs.html http://www.htgpeergroups.com/blog/entry/common-traits-of-founders-as-entrepreneurs.html The idea for this blog came from something that came across my desk and seemed worthy of sharing.  I spend a lot of time training entrepreneurs to transition to leaders – to move from founder to CEO.  That is a tough change to make.  There are parts of being the creator of a company that becomes part of us.  So growing from that role, to a role viewed as more stale and less fun is a challenge.

Founders are amazing.  They make the world go round.  They build value and create jobs . They are the people who see, and then create, the future.

As you would expect, personal traits and business leadership traits are intertwined.  The most common traits that I see in the best entrepreneurs are:

  1. They see differently.  They have unique vision and a different point of view from the norm.  They also have the ability to sell it to all kinds of people and get them to buy in to their vision. 
  2. They think big.  They have a much bigger agenda than is often apparent and the drive to pursue that agenda whole heartedly with reckless abandon.
  3. They execute.  At least on their vision and agenda.  They likely don’t do so well on the core business needs.  Those details don’t seem important.  But when it comes to taking their dream and driving toward making it a success, they are obsessed.  They will not fail.
  4. They usually have real life expertise they have learned the hard way – through the school of hard knocks.  Seldom do they have a whole lot of business training, but they have learned some of the key lessons in life by living in the trenches.
  5. They have the ability to connect the dots.  They are usually extremely talented at what they do and have deep subject matter expertise and can connect all the areas that need to be part of getting their business off the ground.
  6. They have very high personal integrity.  Their business will not succeed without it.  It comes down to high levels of honesty and strong personal traits.  People do business with people.
  7. They overcome adversity.  Every new startup will hit bumps in the road. All will have difficult problems to overcome.  All founders will have their emotions stretched to the limit.
  8. They operate with transparency because that is how they win people over.  They use open communications and candor, even if it means communicating bad news.
  9. They have been there and done that. They just keep on. Once they have a company up and successful, they are usually bored and off to their next challenge.
  10. They often have a chip on their shoulder and have something to prove.  They are highly motivated and fiercely competitive.
  11. They don’t give up.  They have stick-with-it-ness and will stay the course.  Along the way they will make plenty of course corrections, but they never throw in the towel

These are endearing traits and are critical to get a business up and running.  The problem is these wonderful traits it won’t keep it growing and successful over time.  That is where the leadership transition has to kick in.  That is where we need to grow from entrepreneur/founder into CEO/leader.  It’s a big step, but one we all need to make and take!

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asorensen@heartlandtechnologies.com (Arlin Sorensen) Peer Power Tue, 06 Mar 2012 06:10:48 +0000
WPC Thoughts http://www.htgpeergroups.com/blog/entry/413-wpc-thoughts.html http://www.htgpeergroups.com/blog/entry/413-wpc-thoughts.html This past week at the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference I had the opportunity to hear Sir Richard Branson as the guest keynote speaker.  He shared some of his success and wisdom with the audience – and I found it to be very interesting and motivating.  One of the key statements he made involved his approach to life: “Screw it, let’s do it”.  He is all about taking risk (calculated and controlled) but taking action.  Far too often we sit back thinking about ideas rather than getting after it and making things happen.

 He also shared his most important life lesson -- "Forgive your enemies, the world is too small to hang on to the past”.  That is fabulous wisdom.  Far too many people spend their lives looking back being controlled by the past.  Things happen – relationships go bad – and we have two choices to make – to dwell on the past or move forward into the future.  Branson shared a few examples of how he had taken action to work to create relationships with people that were considered enemies.  It really is about choosing to do that.  You have to take action.  Life is short – don’t waste it being bitter.

 He spoke openly that many businesses really have a long way to go to ready their workplace for the future.  He told us we need to “Be more accommodating - job sharing, part-time positions, unpaid leave...and job sharing creates more jobs and is good for people and the company.”  That is a hard pill for many of us to take who grew up with the 8-5 workday mentality.  But there were numerous sessions at this event that focused on the new workforce and it is changing quickly.  We will have 5 generations in the workplace by the end of this decade and their needs and expectations are very different.  We have to change how we approach our teams.

 Risk was another area he talked about.  He isn’t afraid of it at all – which is a choice.  But most importantly he told us “Never bet the farm; always know what you are putting at risk.”  Not every attempt will succeed – and you can’t put yourself in a place where you have put everything you have on the line if it doesn’t work.  It is about good planning and risk control.  Whenever we choose to enter something new and untested we have to plan for the worst so we don’t make a mistake that ends our options.  Take bold risks but protect the downside.

 He also told us “You lay down the rules but remember rules are made to be broken.”  There has to be a balance between what you expect and when you allow some creativity and flexibility.  There are times when you need to ignore your own rules and do what has to be done.  It is reality.

 And one of the more important things he talked about was that “partnering is more difficult than marriage. Both need to bring it all to the party.”  I found it interesting that he talked about marriage as much as he did.  It was a somewhat reflective message – which appeared to contain some real regret about some of the choices he had made in the past and a focus on his legacy for the future.  He mentioned Jesus Christ as one of the three people he would like to talk with.  My take was that he realizes and has learned that there are results from the choices we make – and he has made some he would like to do over.  He was somewhat transparent at that level.

 He did tell us he was “taking his children to space in the next year or two” – so he isn’t afraid to trust what he believes in and make things happen.  The real message I took away was the need to think differently from the norm – not be controlled by what is normal or safe – and make intentional choices to do what you believe.  The world is changing – there are lots of opportunities out there – but it takes action to make those a reality.  We need to choose to take control of life and our future.  We can make it happen.  Screw it – we just need to go do it!

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asorensen@heartlandtechnologies.com (Arlin Sorensen) Peer Power Fri, 15 Jul 2011 15:07:57 +0000