entrepreneur or manager

Are You an Entrepreneur or a Manager?

I’ve spent my life surrounded by leaders of all stripe, from the startup founder writing code in her garage to the Fortune 100 CEO, and all in between. People striving to make something happen are absolutely fascinating to me, but I’ve noticed something profound that I need to share: not all leaders are made the same. Not even close.

Indeed, there are so many fundamental personality differences between a professional manager and the typical entrepreneur, it’s hard to compare the two at all.

A manager runs things. A founder creates things. Founders, or entrepreneurs, are much more like artists than they are like corporate executives.

Which type are you? Do you have what it takes to start something from nothing, from absolute thin air? I’ve devised this short personality profile to help you decide. For each item below you agree with, make a mental note:

  1. How do you spell “Risk?” O-P-P-O-R-T-U-N-I-T-Y.
  2. You have 100 urgent ideas a day. One of which turns out to be a keeper the next day. (One brilliant idea a day? Not too shabby.)
  3. Logic is nothing more than a tool. It’s our passion that makes us human!
  4. You don’t break the law. But rules? Rules are merely guidelines.
  5. Pressure gives you energy, not stress.
  6. The easiest thing in life is making a decision. If you make a wrong one, you just make another – quickly! – and keep going.
  7. You aren’t famous for your patience, but…
  8. You are relentless.
  9. Your résumé looks… um… you’re kidding, right? Where’s your real résumé?
  10. If it isn’t in the budget, change the budget!
  11. People make policies, so people can change them, too.
  12. Safety is for suckers. If it isn’t at least a little scary, what’s the point?
  13. Think outside the box?” What’s a box?
  14. The word “normal” gives you the hives.
  15. It isn’t about the money. Never was. It’s about creating something from nothing.

Your Score

How many of these items did you find yourself agreeing with? Use this guide to measure your penchant for entrepreneurialism:

  • 12-15 Agree: You have a founder’s mindset. Go get ’em!
  • 9-11 Agree: You have a lot of the right stuff to found your own company. Cultivate it if you truly want to start something new.
  • 5-8 Agree: You’re probably an intrapreneur already – you lead change and innovation from within your organization. Keep it up!
  • 0-4 Agree: You’re probably an accountant, or an actuary for an insurance company. You know the Internet is a fad, and dream of the Dewey Decimal System staging a comeback.

Where did you score in this personality profile? What tweaks should we make to improve it? I’d love to hear your insights in the comments below!


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Keynote speaker. Author of A World Gone Social: How Companies Must Adapt to Survive. Three-time CEO. Chairman and Founder of Switch and Shift. Ted Coiné is one of the most influential business experts on the Web, top-ranked by Forbes, Inc., SAP Business Innovation, and Huffington Post for his leadership, customer experience, and social media influence. Ted consults with owners, CEOs and boards of directors on making their companies more competitive by making them more human-focused. He and his family live in Naples, Florida.

  • reply theEditorial.com ,

    Now if only I could manage to get people to work for free while I go get us some fish. How do I learn to do that?

    • reply Alexia ,

      truly great work, Ted – very inspiring!

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