Given this general profile, their coach is likely to be more successful if he helps his client gain more access to the less rational and “softer” side of her work life (and, if appropriate, her personal life). As Jonah Lehrer has noted in his account of successful intuitive thinking, the work of a gifted technician or functional “genius” is often more a matter of hunches, approximations and visions than the technical/functioning entrepreneur may be willing to admit. A coach can help his client by encouraging her to reflect back on and fully appreciate the elements that went into a “breakthroughs” in her work. She needs to acknowledge all of her strengths and competencies—not just those that can be measured with a yard stick (or comparable metric). The entrepreneurial client will gain an even greater competitive edge if she can fully access and appropriately engage these other sides of her competency.
The technical/functional entrepreneur is also likely to have only limited access to her own emotional life and may find it difficult to work with other people—the domain of emotional intelligence that has become popular in contemporary management literature. A successful coach will work with this type of entrepreneur on the interpretation of other people’s behavior and on the appropriate responses to this behavior. The coach might ask such questions as: “Why do you think Jim gets angry when you offer him advice on the use of this equipment?” “When you take over responsibility for this project, why do you think other members of the team might get annoyed?” “What would be a more effective response to Susan’s withdrawal from active participation in the department meetings?”
At a broader level, the entrepreneur who is oriented toward technical and functional competency is likely to be a bit short-sighted in her perspectives regarding the work she is now doing and will be doing in the future. While the creative entrepreneur is inclined to be unrealistic in his assessment of current work (dreaming of the future and of unrealized possibilities), the technical/functional entrepreneur is likely to be caught up in the current work and enthralled with what she is now doing—giving little consideration to the boarder or future implications of her work. Her coach can be of great assistance in helping this entrepreneur become more strategic in her thinking, rather than just being a very skillful tactician. This type of entrepreneur doesn’t need to become more realistic, she needs to be a bit more visionary. Often she will not recognize the full potential of her breakthrough. If we re-examine the life and work of Thomas Edison, for instance, we find that in many instances he was not himself the inventor. Rather he saw the potential in the ideas being offered by other people (inside and outside his laboratory) and brought these ideas to fruition. In many ways, Edison represents the third type of entrepreneur (managerial)—to which I am about to turn. A successful coach to the technical/functional entrepreneur will often engage (like Edison) in helping his client realize the potential of her work
This third type of entrepreneurship is all about driving to success with and through people. These entrepreneurs actually like the process of working with other people, whereas most other entrepreneurs only work with other people to increase the chances of success with the product or service they are creating and selling. For these managerial entrepreneurs, people are not just a means to some end—they are what it is all about. The process of management is often itself a major part of the invention being offered: a new way of managing, a new way of rewarding people, a new way of coordinating diverse activities spread throughout the world.Download Article 1K Club