Multitasking to the extent of Crashing. Entrepreneurs often have a thousand things going in their mind, and switch so rapidly from one to the other that they leave many people confused, including themselves. The result is that important tasks get short shifted, and relationships suffer. Don’t let multitasking supersede focus and real listening.
Demands perfection from all. Entrepreneurs who are perfectionists are never satisfied with their own work, as well as the work of others. This can cause delays and costs in the business, as well as friction and frustration in relationships with team members, partners, and customers. Steve Jobs survived this imperfection or it made The Apple 0.01% famous.
Strong convictions bordering on Stubbornness. The best leaders have strong convictions, but listen to others, and are willing to compromise when it is required to move the ball forward. In business, if you refuse to compromise and meet the needs of customers, in a timely manner, your competitors will replace you. Business is no place for stubbornness.
Not a team player. Most entrepreneurs start their business because they perceive a need in the market not seen by others. Sometime they want to be in charge while others often just don’t like working with others. In time, however, every business requires a team, and giving up control becomes a constant struggle. Some entrepreneurs simply jump ship and start again.
Over-confident to the point of being egotistical. Letting your ego drive decisions is not the same as confidence based on knowledge and trust. While entrepreneurs need a healthy ego for body armor, it can quickly become the negative trait of arrogance if not tempered. Being confident in what your product delivers can never be considered egotistical. Bragging about what your product delivers while putting down your competition or the way your client address the issue in the past is considered egotistical and insulting.
Procrastination on certain challenges. Sometimes I talk to some very smart entrepreneurs who struggle with tough issues, like building a website. They may ignore these challenges or try to pass them off to a business partner they trust. The positive effects of learning a new skill or disciplines just doesn’t appeal to some. A timely decisions to step up or step away is sometimes needed in order to grow your business.
Paranoid reaching delusional proportions. The good trait of being alert and cautious when approaching new people and new partners can easily grow into paranoia. Some new entrepreneur trusts no one and thinks all deals are a potential scam. The best entrepreneurs strive to find a win-win relationships with partners and investors.
Work-life balance and workaholic tendencies. Most entrepreneurs will admit to being a “Workaholic” at some stage of their startup. Ultimately this dedication may be considered a negative trait by potential partners, family members or team members. Believe it or not, working too much can temper and limit your business growth. If you choose to over work a project or micro manage a project you can ruin any momentum you may have. Migrate to the positive traits of delegation and building an organization. This will give you time to work on project that you feel needs more time and attention.
Often emotional and temperamental. Passion and sensitivity to people are key traits in every good entrepreneur, but in some cases, these can seem to escalate to mood changes and emotional outbursts for no reason. At this point the leader may make less rational decisions that may lose the loyalty and trust of associates and customers. Directing your emotions to “Celebrating” success instead of reacting to setbacks will energize you clients, partners and employees.
Looks at the world through colored lenses. Successful entrepreneurs can easily lose sight of the real business world. Once the perks of influence and trust set in, weak leaders become philosophers instead entrepreneurs. We see this all the time when business leaders comment on social issues and try to promote a social agenda. The time to worry is when you start seeing humility as a character flaw, rather than a positive trait.
Every successful entrepreneur can probably relate to these not-so-positive traits, and in many cases, will attest that without one or more of them, their startup would likely have failed. The question is whether that makes them good traits, which should be learned and nurtured by every young entrepreneur who is striving to be great. I think not. There has to be a better way.