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Home > Creating Success > Personal Qualities

Personal Qualities

One of the key tasks of an entrepreneur is to anticipate trends in technology and the marketplace with sufficient accuracy and over a long enough period of time so that he or she can build an island of stability — a vision. With stable ground under foot, management by objective becomes an effective tool. Consider the opposite situation, without stable ground. If objectives change on a regular basis because of a lack of foresight about technology and the market, then the business becomes inefficient. At some point, if change is too frequent, the organization accomplishes no lasting work at all and the company fails. 

Creating a vision requires comfort with uncertainty. Indeed, one can also think of a vision as a means for the entrepreneur to internalize and remove uncertainty from an otherwise scary, unfiltered view of the outside world, enabling his employees to feel more at ease and permitting the company objectives to remain steady. Successful entrepreneurs are probably more comfortable with uncertainty than anyone else in their organization.

Personally, change and its inherent uncertainty attracts me because I enjoy building analytical, predictive models — descriptions of how things work that enable me to forecast conditions in the future. Business situations are normally so complex that the resulting predictions and forecasts are highly approximate; nonetheless, I believe that your models should  help you get the odds in your favor. The models represent how you construct a vision and the better your model, the higher your confidence of success.

Another important personal characteristic is high performance standards. Entrepreneurs should always strive to do their best.

Of course, high standards are both a blessing and a curse. When a company achieves high standards it becomes more competitive in the marketplace, and that is a blessing. On the other hand, a company can expend so much energy trying to meet a high standard that something more important suffers. Indeed, many good things come at the expense of other good things and a leader must trade one off against the other. For example, growth can be faster if a company lowers profits to spend more on marketing and promotion.

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