The Entrepreneur’s Snow Globe

April 3, 2013

Clarity of ThoughtThe Entrepreneur’s Snow Globe

Entrepreneurs don’t like calm and stasis, even if their organizations are delivering on their mission and progressing well toward their vision. Entrepreneurs like not only to identify new opportunities and threats, new strengths and weaknesses, but also to act on them. They like to shake the snow globe.

Shaking the snow globe is a good idea for organizations that are struggling to achieve results, but it can be distracting for organizations that are performing well. The entrepreneur’s swirl of ideas (or “snow”) can whiteout the organization’s vision and even its mission.

Entrepreneurs love NEW almost as much, if not more so, than RESULTS. Entrepreneurs run on adrenaline, and adrenaline comes from new and risky moves, not the tried and true. Entrepreneurs’ risk taking, intellect, energy, and charisma are, in general, what earn them passionate and devoted followers. It’s difficult, however, for employees to know which of an entrepreneur’s ideas to follow and how far, as the ideas continue to pile up and compete. These employees may get disenchanted or feel trapped in a reality distortion field, much like Steve Jobs’ at Apple. Eventually, customers and clients feel the impact. They may grow frustrated with the lack of consistency of service, products, or process.

During coaching sessions, I encourage entrepreneurs to shake the snow globe. It’s far better for entrepreneurs to work through their ideas with me than to overwhelm their team members. We discuss the potential impact of each new idea on current practices and priorities, job responsibilities, and future work. Once the “snow” settles, these leaders and their team members can move forward purposefully toward fulfilling the organization’s mission and vision.


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