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