The Most Common Myth in Business

Isn't it strange that our default perception of the business world is that it is populated by only two kinds of people? The majority of people work for "the man." The rest are "the man." While it is a simple construct and the most common myth in business, this view is completely insufficient at describing the reality of the world around us. Whether you have staff now, or expect to have them in the future, let's take a deeper look at the four strengths that need to be present for ultimate success in business.

These four strengths are embodied by people (full-time, part-time, contractual). Let's describe them with zippy titles:

  • The Builder
  • The Opportunist
  • The Specialist
  • The Innovator

All of these strengths need to be present for a business to grow. In our experience, most of the time at least one is absent without leave, if it was ever there at all. And that can absolutely hold back success.

The Four eDNAs

There's a science behind what you're about to learn. The concept that there aren't two kinds of people in business (worker/owner), but four, is a relatively new concept. Think of them as entrepreneurial strengths, or behavioral predispositions in the workplace. We refer to them as eDNA. Everyone is wired a certain way and it shows up in the work they do, as well as the work environments they gravitate to. To discover more, check out this TED talk. In the meantime, read on.

The Builder

This is the person that owns the company, and who has the most impressive title (CEO, President, Founder). The builder is expected to build the company. This usually means their focus is wide and includes infrastructure, payroll, cash-flow, square footage, profit-loss, etc. If the business is to build, it's on them to coordinate the process, stages, and systems. However, they also must have a deep focus, seeing what obstacles and challenges lie ahead. No one wants them to model the captain of the Titanic.

The Opportunist

These people make the sales. They are the revenue-generating side of the business. Small companies may have only one "sales person." Larger companies may have many. Regardless of the number, they need to represent the company brand in a positive way and are often the front line of creating long-term clients...or not.

The Specialist

It's more than likely that the people in the role of specialist do not have it in their title. Still, what they do every day requires deep specialization and knowledge. Administrative staff, folks on the production line, installers, technicians, etc., all are specialists. So are lawyers, doctors, CPAs, financial professionals and the like. What's important to recognize is that being in the role of a specialist in your company doesn't require advanced degrees or designations on a business card. It does require attention to detail, following procedures, and delivering great outcomes for the company's clientele.

The Innovator

This person represents the creative side of the business. In that capacity, they're always considering ways to enhance products/service, business image, branding and more. What's interesting is that many companies that provide a common service, like accounting, would never think about a need to innovate. "Why? Numbers are numbers," they say. "Sure, tax law might change, but the accounting process doesn't require innovation." Yet, how many service companies struggle to grow? Declaring to the world that "We provide the best service!" isn't what anyone would call innovative. Besides, because all of their competitors are declaring the same thing, it amounts to white noise. What's the takeaway? The odds are high that the less you feel a need for an innovator to be on your team, the more likely you are to really need one.

It's All About Balance

All four of these strengths are essential for the success of any business. When you start out, all those roles belong to one person: you. If you are a solopreneur, they'll always belong to you. But regardless of the size or structure of your company, can you imagine why it is so difficult to scale up, not to mention sustain success, with any of these strengths missing?

Very few people are 100% one type of eDNA. Most are a mix of 2 or 3. It's extremely rare to have a relatively even mix. This means that a solopreneur is going to come up critically short in at least one of their eDNA strengths. It also means that until a company is huge, the chances are high that they are entirely missing the strengths of one role. That inhibits their long-term success.

Remember, our certified coaches can help you through the process of identifying any strengths gaps you might have, as well as how to easily improve. Optimizing your strengths, whether you run a company of 1 or 100, makes for a happier, more satisfying and successful enterprise. Reach out to schedule a chat. We come unarmed (despite the picture above).

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