Nearly all budding entrepreneurs believe they are well suited to entrepreneurship because they are self-reliant and are accomplished chiefly because they get things done themselves.
Almost all seasoned entrepreneurs have learned just the opposite is true, that their success rests on having a carefully selected team of collaborators. In fact, entrepreneurs must pay far more attention to selecting their colleagues than do conventional managers.
Why? The personal gaps and eccentricities needing to be balanced are that much greater for strong, maverick personalities.
Just recently, the New York Times reported the financial entrepreneur Jean Louis-Dreyfus passed away in France. Louis-Dreyfus was a turnaround artist of the first order who resuscitated such large businesses as Adidas and Saatchi & Saatchi. He was as gifted in expanding marketing as he was in trimming budgets. And, he didn’t stick around long in the various businesses he touched. Some gifted managers are what I would term “serial entrepreneurs.” A genius like Wayne Huizenga – who founded Waste Management, Blockbuster Video, and Auto Nation – certainly falls into that enviable category.
Entrepreneurial CEOs must make two simultaneous kinds of staffing decisions from the very day they take up the reins of a business: What kind of hard-charging, get-it-done types need I introduce to the company to achieve immediate impact? What kind of builders and reliable long-termers should be positioned to steer the ship after the shock wave of change has subsided?