In March 2021 I introduced my readers to the EI Consortium with this blog What is the Best Definition of Emotional Intelligence? Now the Consortium has started producing a podcast.
The second podcast is on EI and Entrepreneurial Leadership. As someone who worked in Venture Capital for 25 years and psych tested some 100 entrepreneurs this is a podcast I had to hear. Dr. Taylor covered a wide range of topics in this 40-minute talk. Two that stood out for me was that entrepreneurial leadership was a solution to the world’s problems and the characteristics of a successful entrepreneur.
In the sense that increased entrepreneurship in a society leads to increased productivity leads to increased wealth I can agree with the first objective. I disagree with trying to imbue entrepreneurs with ESG goals in their businesses. Starting and growing a new business is hard enough without requiring altruistic virtue signalling as well.
Among Dr Taylor’s list of successful entrepreneurial characteristics were three that stood out for me: need for autonomy, coachability and a focus on constant learning. Back in September 2009 I came up with different list in this blog EQ and the Entrepreneur. My list of the characteristics of the successful entrepreneur contained three items:
- A focus on their business the bordered on Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder.
- A desire to make money.
- High Numerical IQ
There is no question that entrepreneurs want autonomy but the successful ones will sacrifice their position as CEO if that is the price for financial success. They will give up power to become rich. My favourite example of this is Google. Following the closing of the $25 million financing round, Sequoia encouraged Brin and Page to hire a CEO. Brin and Page ultimately acquiesced and hired Eric Schmidt as Google’s first CEO in March 2001. The rest is history.
The same result applies to coachability. If you can provide the promise of more capital the successful ones will listen and take heed.
If you can convince them that the new knowledge you are suggesting will increase the chances of financial success or increased profits for their business they will listen, learn and apply it. If not they will dismiss it. But successful entrepreneurs are always seeking new ideas and knowledge to incorporate in their business. And if they have high numerical IQ they will subject a proposal to ruthless cost-benefit analysis.
I realise this focus on becoming rich is against the zeitgeist surrounding entrepreneurship. In 2012 I read The Founder’s Dilemmas: Anticipating and Avoiding the Pitfalls That Can Sink a Startup by Noam Wasserman. I blogged about here. The key question Wasserman poses in whether the entrepreneur wants to be king or rich? His advice to investors is to back entrepreneurs who want the latter. As someone who in 25 years looked at some 5000 business plans, backed 50 investments and wished it was 25 I can through bitter experience only agree.
Finally if you are familiar with the 7MTF model of temperament do take a look at the picture of Dr. Scott Taylor.
This blog was first posted on LinkedIn on 28 August 2022
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"Put in a sales perspective, I loved your presentation! I got a lot from what you talked about and I will read your book."
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Your presentation on 'Lifting your Level of Emotional Intelligence" to 10 CEOs scored an average 8.9 out of 10 for the topic and 8.5 for the presentation which is great. A couple of the attendees gave you a 10 out of 10, and the comments were:
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Christi Spring CEO Institute. - web www.ceo.com.au.