Artist, Leader or Entrepreneur?

I recently attended the #TonyRobbins Business Mastery course at the Excel in London.  It consisted of 4 days packed with information, tools and techniques on building and growing a business that is continually innovating and performing at its peak, and the best ways to create an exit plan for yourself; be this through creating a leadership team that will enable you to step away from the day to day running of the business, or the best ways to prime it for a sale.   Tony was on impeccable form as normal and had the entire audience (300 business owners ranging from sole traders through to CEO’s of $Billion multinationals) hooked on his every word for 12 – 14 hours each day with regular bouts of audience participation (dancing, yelling and generally jumping around like a loon) to make sure that everyone was in their ‘peak state’ for learning.  This may all sound a bit ‘out there’, but in short it was excellent.  Other world class speakers included #scottklososky, #keithcunningham and #ericedmeades covering Technology, Finance, and succession planning respectively.

One of the ideas that Tony discussed was that we all fit in to 3 categories:

  • An artist – the talented, skilled producer who is an expert at what they do/make/produce and the art is far more important to them than growing a business or managing a team.
  • A leader – someone that can manage, motivate and enjoy leading teams of people.
  • An entrepreneur – the risk taker.  They are happy to take substantial risks to get what they want and will easily bounce back if their ideas don’t work out.

The quickest way to find out which one you are; if you were to lose your job/business today and had to get a new job tomorrow or else you would lose your house, car and all your other worldly possessions; what would you do?  Would you get a role applying your learned skill/trade (artist), would you get a management role where you were leading people (leader) or would you not worry about losing you house, car and possessions and instead get a loan from the bank and do it all again (entrepreneur)?

None is better than the other, and you may have a bit of all of them in you, but one of these traits will be far more dominant in you than the other two.  To grow a successful business that will reach its full potential you need a leadership team who each dominate in one of these areas, so that as a collective you have experts in all 3.

Tony noted that one of the biggest stresses in your life is trying to be someone that you are not.  Lots of us would like to think of ourselves as entrepreneurs, but are we really?  I quickly realised that I was a leader, and my business partner realised that he was truly an artist.  The good news is that we have 2 of the 3 traits already in our team.  To get our business to reach its full potential, we now realise that we need an entrepreneur.

Which one are you…..? And which do you need to get in to your management team to make sure your business is fulfilling its potential?

Michael Bowden is Partner at Bowden Mayes – a specialist recruitment company focussed on helping recruitment businesses attract senior management and next generation talent.


An introduction….

Michael Bowden


My name is Michael Bowden and I am a founder of Bowden Mayes; a specialist recruitment to recruitment company focussed on helping businesses attract senior management and next generation talent.

I started my recruitment career in 2001 as junior consultant for a large Public Sector recruitment company. Within 12 months I was promoted to Team Manager as recognition of producing the highest % for sales against target for that year.   I was then approached by the CEO of a headhunting organisation to help build their fledgling recruitment to recruitment division.

I started with the business in 2003 and over the next 6.5 years was promoted steadily to Sales Director and grew the team to 20 consultants. I was also responsible for promoting a Managed Service offering that generated at peak 50% of company’s revenue within 6 months of its inception. Whilst a Director, the business won a number of awards including Recruitment to Recruitment company of the Year at the 2009 Recruiter Awards for Excellence.  I was also included in the Who’s Who of Britain’s Business Elite and Who’s Who of Britain’s Youngest Directors 2009.

It was at this time that, along with my now business partner Kevin Mayes, I saw that the market was changing and that there was a gap for a quality driven consultancy working on a simple networking and headhunting methodology. This meant that we could concentrate our time on building a strong network, acting as a knowledge base for people wanting advice on the market, and only facilitating an introduction when they knew that it is going to be the right for all parties

Outside of Bowden Mayes, I am happily married to Sarah and spend the majority of my time trying to keep my baby daughter Lottie amused.  Other pursuits include indulging my main passion of good food, weekly Squash and Tennis leagues and the occasional 10K run for Charity.