The specialists

In my previous column, we got inside the heads of the entrepreneurial generalists. Now, let’s find out what makes the specialists tick.

As an entrepreneur, see if you can identify with any of the personalities or behaviors described in this article.

As a group, the specialists are tactically and detail-oriented. They prefer stability and security and are responsible for their area of expertise and demonstrate risk-adverse behaviors. When measured by the researchers, their compliance factor was much greater than their dominance factor. This is in direct opposition to the generalists whose dominance factor is much greater than their compliance factor. This is the source of the generalist’s need to win and the root of their belief that they are always right.

While the specialist does things by the book, follows rules and procedures, the generalist is more apt to assume a greater degree of risk. The identified personality types for the specialist are authority, collaborator and the diplomat.

As I mentioned in my previous article, Bill Wagner of Entrepreneurial Magazine looked at the many entrepreneurial personalities, emotional intelligence and their brain dominance. This article will concentrate on the personalities and behaviors of the specialists. As you will see by the information presented, in order to be successful. many of the identified entrepreneurial personalities need to find a business partner whose personality and skill sets complement theirs. Otherwise, they reduce their chances of being successful in the development or maintenance of an entrepreneurial enterprise.

The authority

This group of entrepreneurs is not usually the best one to start a business, but they know how to make the products correctly and provide their customers with a high level of service. They can function very well as a distributor, own a franchise or take over an existing business. They are motivated to do things the right way and are detail oriented and tactical in their decision making.

This entrepreneur provides a positive role model for their employees by being both conscientious and cooperative. Rules, procedure and policies are an important part of their approach to business. Because they are so exacting, deliberate, analytical and logical, they require a partner or a strong general manager who can perform the necessary prospecting and networking activities.

In many successful manufacturing or service businesses, you find complementary skill sets in the top management team. On the other hand, where the top two executives have the same skill sets, there usually is a level of conflict that impedes growth, instead of cultivating it.

The collaborator

This sub-group of entrepreneurs enjoys the people side of the business. They use their influence to get what they want. They are not comfortable with presenting new ideas or cold-calling to potential clients. They partner best with a person who is more aggressive and who is more comfortable being the rainmaker of the team. They follow rules and guidelines and would be good at running retail oriented or customer service oriented businesses.

The diplomat

These individuals enjoy working under pressure and deal effectively with deadlines. They deal well with new situations and can easily adjust to changing situations. They have the ability to multi-task and keep a number of balls up in the air at the same time. They are driven and very sociable, but they are not the greatest rainmakers so they would not work well with the collaborator. Their peers and business associates tend to like them, but they have trouble holding people accountable for their behaviors.

In order to be successful, the diplomat needs to partner with a more results oriented personality to insure that deadlines and business commitments are met. They would oversee fellow staff members to see that they follow through on their assignments.

Darrell Zahorsky, in his article, “The 9 Personality Types of Entrepreneurs,” states, “The most successful entrepreneurs know that the greatest knowledge is self-knowledge. They understand how to make the best of their talents and manage or compensate for their weaknesses or potential limitations.”

David Giwerc author of “The AD/HD Entrepreneur,” agrees with Zahorsky. It’s not a question of how successful you have been. It’s a question of how much more successful you could be if you better understood how your own brain works. “Entrepreneurs are not like other people in business, and their brain is not like other brains,” he says.

Do you want to find out which entrepreneurial personality type is yours? Then go to and complete their assessment.

Sign up for BizTimes Daily Alerts

Stay up-to-date on the people, companies and issues that impact business in Milwaukee and Southeast Wisconsin

No posts to display