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.