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a chess game which has similarities to having to think like an entrepreneur

Think Like an Entrepreneur

a chess game which has similarities to having to think like an entrepreneur

“Failing to plan is planning to fail.” ~ Ancient Proverb.

“Begin with the end in mind. Then put first things first.” Stephen Covey, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People*.

In business school, we’re taught to define our goals, given our available resources, and then find the critical path to reach them. This is called causal or predictive reasoning, according to Saras Sarasvathy.

She teaches entrepreneurship at the University of Virginia and is the author of Effectuation: Elements of Entrepreneurial Expertise* and recently released an updated version of this book in paperback.

She says that successful entrepreneurs don’t think like MBAs. In fact, they do the opposite. They use effectual reasoning. Entrepreneurs who reach bigg success use the resources available to them. They let goals manifest themselves over time given their creativity, direction and connections.

Entrepreneurs think differently than MBAs

There’s a great article on Harvard Business  site about Dr. Sarasvathy’s research. It asks if MBAs or entrepreneurs are better suited for today’s business realities. Bill Taylor, the author, says it simply:

  • MBAs focus on the upside; entrepreneurs focus on the downside.
  • MBAs assume it’s a zero-sum game; entrepreneurs think win – win.
  • MBAs thrive on certainty; entrepreneurs thrive on uncertainty.

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george I’m even more confused than usual. I just don’t know what to think since I sort of fit into both categories!

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marylynn
Do you feel like you’re getting pulled in both directions at once, George?

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george
I feel like I’m getting stretched like Stretch Armstrong!

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marylynnWell, there is an answer. You just have to know when to use causal reasoning and when to think effectually.

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We define bigg success as life on your own terms. You are the entrepreneur of an incredible enterprise – your life – whether or not you’re an entrepreneur in the traditional definition of the word.

That’s why we think this research is so fitting not just for business owners, but for everyone:

When things are uncertain, think like an entrepreneur.

It appears that, in the years ahead, we need to expect more of the unexpected. Entrepreneurs don’t bother trying to predict the future; they create it.

How do they do that?

They act and adapt.

They use the resources they have to try something. If it doesn’t work, they take the knowledge they gained and try something else.

If it does work, they keep pushing it. As their enterprise grows, when there is more at stake, they may switch to more causal reasoning. Or they may jump ship and start the whole thing over!

Because to many entrepreneurs, the journey is the reward. That mindset often leads to bigg success.

Thanks so much for reading our post today. Please join us next time as we discuss when the dream becomes a nightmare. Until then, here’s to your bigg success!

Direct link to The Bigg Success Show audio file:
http://media.libsyn.com/media/biggsuccess/00447-072809.mp3

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How Honest Should You be with Your Employees?

questionsClinton Korver wrote a great article for Harvard Business Publishing. He talks about his experience running a start-up and why it’s especially important during tough times to share information with your employees.

He says that he went against the advice of his venture capitalists. They feared losing employees, customers, and other investors if the bad news got out. Clinton found that being completely forthright strengthened his relationships with his employees.

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marylynn One of my radio managers did that when our company wasn’t doing so well. I appreciated the honesty and how it put all of us on the same page.

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Honesty is high on most of our lists of core values. However, do we really think that we should always be honest?

For example, picture yourself standing with your best friend adoring her newborn baby boy. You think he’s the least attractive baby you’ve ever seen. She’s going on and on about him, when she asks you the dreaded question …

Isn’t he the best looking baby you’ve ever seen?

Would you tell her what you really think? Or would you pick your words carefully to avoid hurting her feelings?

Of course, this is a different situation than the first one presented – being honest with your employees, even when things are not going well.

But it illustrates that there can be a second value at stake – the desire to not cause undue harm.

Is there a reason to tell your friend what you really think? What good will come from it?

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georgeI’ve come to believe strongly in open-book management. As a general rule, I think the more you share with your employees, the better. Having said that, I have found you also have to know your employees. Open-book requires a higher level of maturity from your employees. If that’s not present, sharing more just creates undue emotional distress.

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The reason an ethical dilemma is a dilemma is because two or more core values at odds with each other. These situations flow up to the leader. You have to find a good solution.

It’s a personal decision. There likely will be disagreement on the best way to handle it. That’s why it’s so important to have a framework in place for these kinds of decisions.
This framework will help you:

  • be more efficient in making decisions like this
  • make decisions that are consistent instead of all over the board
  • build goodwill with all affected parties
  • respect the face you see in the mirror at the end of the day

We have a great resource that helps you set up the framework so when an ethical dilemma comes your way you’re prepared. It outlines the three steps to solving an ethical situation:

  • Know your core values
  • Select an ethical model that helps you apply those core values
  • Use a problem-solving process to work through the situation at hand

So we’ve presented an ethical dilemma today … should you share all news with your employees, even the bad stuff? What do you think?

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