Do Entrepreneurs Thrive on Chaos?

chaos“If everything is under control, you are going too slow.”  ~ Mario Andretti, world champion race car driver.

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George KruegerI posted this quote on Twitter and Facebook last week and got a number of responses. I found this one by David Kasprzak (@flexpencil) particularly interesting: “And if nothing is under control, you are going too fast.”

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Mary-Lynn FosterIt’s the Goldilocks principle – you don’t want too little; you don’t want too much.

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Employees want stability

Entrepreneurs thrive in the midst of chaos. It’s a reality. However, it shouldn’t be a goal. For some entrepreneurs, it seems it is the goal. They try to go (and grow) too fast. The result is nothing is under control as David pointed out.

The problem with growing too fast is that most people (that means your employees) want stability at work. Stability equals security. So you need to make sure you provide as much as possible, even if it’s not something you need.

Here are two ways to help your people deal with chaos:

1. Direction. Speed without direction leads you off the track. You may go far but you won’t get where you want to go.

2. Priorities. Speed without priorities means you’re racing in a circle. You’re driving a lot but you’re not going anywhere.

Bad chaos and good chaos

Direction without speed won’t do you much good either, especially in today’s hyper-competitive business world. If everything is under control – if there’s no chaos – you’re not going fast enough.

But chaos can be good or it can be bad. It depends on its source. Consider these three examples:

1. An employee can create it. They don’t get on board with your vision and values. It creates a negative energy. You need to let them go.

2. Lack of structure may create it. In the early stages of a venture, culture trumps structure. As you start getting a handle on products and markets, you need to develop systems. But we entrepreneurs resist and it creates chaos. The result is poor customer service and inefficient employees.

3. Success creates it. Your customers love your products and your company. You’re scrambling to keep up with their demand. This is the kind of chaos you want! Keep pushing for BIGG success!

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Image in this post from mzacha

2 replies
  1. David M. Kasprzak
    David M. Kasprzak says:

    George,

    So glad just a random comment on twitter was able to spark such a good discussion. Truly, a bit of the beauty of twitter at play. Glad I happened upon your tweet and even more gladder-er that you were able to take it and run with. The “Goldilocks principle” sums up the idea perfectly.

    Loved the podcast. I’ve got your blog locked into the RSS reader now. You can’t escape.

    Stay thirsty, my friends!

    Reply

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