There are many great films about entrepreneurship, and the importance of a great team. Two of my favourite are the first Ghostbusters (1984) and the first Cool Runnings (1993). I haven’t seen the remake of Ghostbusters, I’m not a real fan of remakes.
Now, here’s a little game: Which of these are you?
- You started the business because you like to run things. You were in charge before, and you’ll probably be in charge again.
Perhaps you’re sceptical about your company’s mission statement, but you have connections who have the knowledge, beliefs and experience your business needs. You’re willing to take risks, and you can wing it when you have to.
What you lack in responsibility and knowledge, you make up for in your ability to stick things through to the end. You’re at the centre of the action, and fortunately you’re the only one like you.
- You have an abundance of knowledge, and you’re really stuck on doing things the right way. You get into the action, and are a great problem solver, but perhaps you don’t initiate things as much as Peter does. That’s okay, there’s always plenty of things for you to do.
- You would rather be in the public sector, with its more predictable funding and all that, but you can’t get a job there any more. Forced to go into business for yourself, you use your knowledge, your own money, your efforts and your connections to continue doing what you love.
- You’re not an owner of the business, so you don’t get a share of the profits. However, you work hard for a steady paycheck, and are willing to take other kinds of risks, just not with your money. (Perhaps you don’t have a lot of money to risk anyway.)
- You may not always be in the centre of the action, but you keep things organised. The public doesn’t know you, but the clients talk to you, and you’re an essential part of the business. Perhaps some day, you’ll get a promotion.
- You start out as a competitor before finally joining the team. No one is sure what your job is, and some people might not even want you around, but things work out.
We could do the same with Cool Runnings
- You start with a dream, and don’t know the meaning of “give up.” Your first dream has been put on hold, so when you find out about a new opportunity, you take it. You seek out your ideal mentor, recruit friends and others who had similar skills to make it work. You assemble the team, raise money, do whatever it takes to get your dream off the ground.
- Your friend Derrice dragged you into this. However, you gain new opportunities from the experience. You may not be using your initial skill set, but through hard work you gain new skills, and get to travel (whether you like it or not.) You also do whatever it takes, because you believe in your friend who started the whole thing.
- Yule Brenner:
- You’re just interested in the future opportunity this venture provides you with. A kind of job hopper, you’re not out to make friends, just to get out of your current situation. But, you’re still willing to do some fundraising and work your butt off because you really want this. If you weren’t incredibly talented and hard working, then maybe no one would agree to work with you, (because you’re a selfish job-hopping jerk), but you have what it takes and no one else is available.
- You provide the money, partly because you feel guilty about messing up another project. But, you also have talent that you contribute to the team, and you work as hard as anyone else. You aren’t in this for financial reasons, but to pursue a dream. However, convincing your family can be difficult.
- Coach Blitzer:
- Years after giving up on your first dream, you’re dragged out of retirement and given a second chance. Perhaps you’re reluctant at first, but you soon find that your team needs you, and you’re able to pass on your knowledge to the next generation. Perhaps you have a past, but you learn to deal with that, and focus on the present. And it’s worth it, you learn as much as you teach.
All of those people could be called leaders in today’s business jargon, but I tend to think of Derrice as the most leader-like character from either films.
Okay, enough of that nonsense.
Sometimes I think questions like “which animal are you” are silly. But, it really depends upon how you approach it. If you see where it’s going, there could be a point, and it could be fun.