Dark side of...leaders, entrepreneurs, quality...

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"Common Sins of Entrepreneurs

To defend yourself against the dark side, you need to ensure that you do not possess fatal character flaws. Otherwise, these con-men will turn it as an advantage against you. The four most powerful weaknesses of an entrepreneur (as summarized elegantly in [1]) are as follows:

* Control Freak: Believe it or not, most entrepreneurs desire control. Entrepreneurs are people who want to make a difference in other people’s lives. The motivation to create something new and innovative or redefine how people conceive the traditional markets bring them not only creativity but also the unfortunate trait of possibly being a control freak. Their obsession with control affects their ability to move or delegate demonstrates how badly at times they get along with other people. If the entrepreneur is a maverick in the first place, they will have serious difficulty in dealing with issues on dominance and submission and worst, they are suspicious of authority. Most entrepreneurs are people who want to create their own environment. They do not want to be at the mercy of others, which makes them very intolerant of incompetency. That nicely ties up to my next point.
* Distrust: The desire for control leads them to show strong distrust in people who work for them. If they are too paranoid, they become easy preys for investors, partners and clients who adapt it to manipulate them to gain control. Yet, this trait is a double edged sword. It can make them more alert to the people in the surrounding who might attempt to con them. Don’t you see it all around you: why bosses in small companies tend to be misers compare to those in big companies? They are afraid that when they spend on their employees, they will be taken advantage of. So, being trapped in the state of distrust, their first defence is to ensure that they exploit a lot more from employees. In a society like ours in Singapore where most SME bosses don’t even think of welfare for their workers, it does tell us a lot about this fatal flaw in most entrepreneurs here.
* Vanity, my favourite Sin: Don’t you feel that entrepreneurs are overhyped in the media? If you read their story every morning in the press, it will be about their humble background, how they turned from being a nobody to a success story and if we live long enough, we hear about their downfall. If you want examples, check out the CEO of Livedoor in Japan. Most entrepreneurs feel that they are living on the edge and they feel that their life is under constant tension. So, they need to become a character in Homer’s Illad.
* Ego: Every entrepreneur I know has an ego and usually it is a strong one. If you don’t have an ego, it’s hard to believe that you are an entrepreneur. That’s the unfortunate reality because of the many characteristics which an entrepreneur possesses. However, there are varying degrees of ego in every entrepreneur. Sometimes, personal ego can be detrimental to the growth of the company. It is always important for the entrepreneur to think about how his or her startup as an organization is greater than them. The other is that the entrepreneur has to learn humility through the hard way. "

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