Why are some people destined to be involved in startups, and other people destined to become CEOs of large conglomerates?
When I say destined, I am referring less to some mystical outcome that we have no control of, and more to the idea that we simply belong in one environment more than another. But the bottom line is, both types have a “because I said so type” mentality behind their approach to work. They make things happen. I am not talking about a small-minded approach, but rather the “make it happen” instead of “let it happen” method.
I am not convinced that all entrepreneurs are incapable of working for larger organisations despite many saying they hate the bureaucracy and red tape that inevitably occurs when you lead a large company. As much as I avoided being called one, I guess I personally fall more into the ‘entrepreneur‘ category than the ‘business development manager’ role.
Why is this though? Is it an intrinsic need to be the leader with a no-holds-barred approach? I feel it is wrong to assume a one size fits all approach in regard to these two leadership streams, and believe me, both are definitely leaders. Whether you are free-falling as a business owner, or you are managing a 100 year-old company, you are leading; you have to navigate systems and you have the responsibility of constant performance. The difference is that one boss is usually your direct wallet and the other boss is a report card. This means that an entrepreneur can potentially lose everything, dependant on the risk of their calculations, as opposed to a manager in a company who can only lose their title and fat paycheck.
Both losses have impact, but both carry different risks. It then stands to reason that not every leader will want to take the same types of risks as an entrepreneur. While in the same vein, many entrepreneurs simply do not like having to navigate systematic processes. I believe this is the major difference.
I have always been a naturally more gregarious personality, and “the because I said so” methodology most certainly applies to me. This means that I tend to look at something I want and feel entitled (hopefully in a non-bratty way) to the fact that if I work hard enough, it can most certainly be mine “because I said so”.
When I approached my post graduate education after being quite apathetic about high school, the daunting tasks loomed over me; but I went through the process and saw it through to completion “because I said so”. It is also the act of bringing to life something that wasn’t previously living, whether it be a product, a concept or a service; it’s the idea of creating something from nothing. Very often, this type of personality can seem more arrogant than full of chutzpah, but pay no mind. Whether you are leading up a large organisation or an exciting startup, the ethos are actually the same – you create, you direct and you lead and you have to make it work…because you said so.