It’s not that entrepreneurs can’t be team players, don’t work hard, or are unable to focus. Quite the contrary, they are able to do all those things and more when required. They simply approach the concept of work differently than most successful employees.
Here are the entrepreneurial habits that make entrepreneurs great at the top where they belong, and insufferable in the fold.
1. They say what they think (nearly always).
Entrepreneurs can’t help themselves here. When they see it, they say it. Their first concern is to solve problems, and that starts with identification. They will be the first ones to call out when they see a project that is an ugly baby without consideration for the fact that someone in the room birthed that child and is very attached to it. This tendency helps them get things done fast when building their company, but can put off others who just want to get alone
2. They fill vacuums.
When something needs to be done and isn’t getting attention, entrepreneurs will simply pick up the ball and run with it. Never mind who owned the project — once the entrepreneur feels the pull of inaction he or she must rush in and fill the need. This is often disconcerting to other employees that have other priorities.
3. They push higher standards.
A company can only function as well as its weakest employees. Colleagues learn to manage around the weak links and find ways to get things done as best they can. But mediocrity is a painful dissonance to an entrepreneur. To an entrepreneur, everything must rise to its highest level which puts constant, unyielding pressure on people who may simply be trying to make a living.
4. They care about why.
For many employees, a good paycheck is more than sufficient reasoning for doing a good job. They choose to be employed because their true ‘why’ lies at home with their families and non-work pursuits. Entrepreneurs live to work rather than work to live. They need to see purpose beyond the daily grind and will question it at every point if the ‘why’ is not resolved in their brain.
5. They love to debate.
Although most companies can benefit from healthy conflict, getting employees to handle debate without personal emotion is a tall order. Entrepreneurs already have their passion focused on success and therefore are loathe to pull back when they sense incongruence in company activities. Overall, they see challenge and debate as a great opportunity to innovate and think out of the box.
6. They choose success over people.
A company needs great morale to perform at its best. Great employees learn how to ride the natural ups and downs of business cycles, maintaining stability. But entrepreneurs get overly motivated by their fear of failure. They will move heaven and earth to find the path to success, and are often tone deaf to the disruption their force creates among colleagues.
7. They believe internal politics are an utter waste of time.
Big corporations thrive on internal politics. It creates a natural selection process in the absence of a proactively defined culture. Stars can rise to the top with only their superior people skills, and mediocre politicians will culture out or find their own level. However, entrepreneurs are focused on productivity and success, which means they are oblivious to the necessary management of the morale of middle-achievers or the ego-feeding of superstars. They truly just want to go big or go home.