Theory E²: Working with Entrepreneurs in Closely-Held Enterprises–VII. The Thoughtful Entrepreneur

Theory E²: Working with Entrepreneurs in Closely-Held Enterprises–VII. The Thoughtful Entrepreneur

William Bergquist

Contemporary closely-held enterprises need both assertive and inspiring entrepreneurs. However, today’s enterprises also need decision-making entrepreneurs who are thoughtful about both the current resources of the organization and specific needs that the organization can realistically meet. While the inspiring entrepreneur prefers to live on the high plains, looking up at the sky, the thoughtful entrepreneur prefers to live in the forest. He prefers to dwell among things that he can touch and cultivate. The thoughtful entrepreneur likes to focus on tangible matters and likes to alter his world in a responsible and systematic manner.

While the assertive entrepreneur tends to consume resources and the inspiring entrepreneur attracts new resources, the thoughtful entrepreneur tends to conserve and cultivate existing resources. While the inspiring executive tends to create dreams and asks simple questions, the thoughtful executive asks for information and poses hard, analytic questions. While the assertive executive encourages risk-taking and leads the closely-held enterprise toward irreversible, transformational change, the thoughtful executive encourages reflection and leads the organization toward small, incremental changes that can easily be reversed if needed.


The thoughtful entrepreneur focuses on information and grows impatient when members of an organization ignore reality. For example, the thoughtful entrepreneur encourages his closely-held enterprise to be grounded in knowledge and information. She asks: What do we now have? What is distinctive about us? What do our customers need? How will our employees react if we take this action?


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About the Author

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William BergquistWilliam Bergquist, Ph.D. An international coach and consultant in the fields of psychology, management and public administration, author of more than 50 books, and president of a psychology institute. Dr. Bergquist consults on and writes about personal, group, organizational and societal transitions and transformations. His published work ranges from the personal transitions of men and women in their 50s and the struggles of men and women in recovering from strokes to the experiences of freedom among the men and women of Eastern Europe following the collapse of the Soviet Union. In recent years, Bergquist has focused on the processes of organizational coaching. He is coauthor with Agnes Mura of coachbook, co-founder of the International Journal of Coaching in Organizations and co-founder of the International Consortium for Coaching in Organizations.

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