These entrepreneurs typically need to collaborate with someone who is concerned with content (product or service line) since they are primarily concerned with process. They can work in almost any field, given their primary concern for process and people rather than specific content. Unlike technical/functional entrepreneurs, the managerial entrepreneurs want to be managers—and they want to be managers not just to get more money, although the financial rewards may be used as a metric of success. These men and women like collaborative problem-solving and dealing with other people. They thrive on responsibility. To be successful, they also look to emotional competence in themselves and the people with whom they work. Success for these entrepreneurs is tied up with emotional intelligence. If they are not smart about other people, then they are likely to fail.
What about the role of a coach who is working with this type of entrepreneur? The key coaching issue for these men and women often concern boundaries and (ironically) interpersonal issues. First, we will look at the boundary problems. These entrepreneurs often care too much about other people or about how other people view and evaluate them as managers and “people persons.” The managerial entrepreneur is likely to be oversensitive to criticism offered by their co-workers and will often seek approval rather than effective performance. These entrepreneurs need a bit more autonomy; however, their coach can’t make their client become more autonomous (which would mean that the coach is doing exactly what their client shouldn’t be doing—taking on the problems of other people). A coach can ask the important and often difficult questions that encourage her client to reflect on his boundary issues: “Is this really your problem, or should it be addressed by Kevin himself?” “Why did you leave this meeting taking over responsibility for this project from Susan?” “When are you most likely to feel that your co-workers have taken advantage of your generosity?”
It is often useful to use the metaphor of the “monkey” when working with the managerial entrepreneur. The monkey in any working relationship is the problem being addressed. Who owns the problem (monkey) and does the monkey leap from the shoulder of one person to the shoulder of another person? The monkey is particularly inclined to leap onto the shoulder of a managerial entrepreneur and to remain on her shoulder (even growing into the size of a gorilla when the entrepreneur begins to further worry about the problem.) A coach to this type of entrepreneur can be of great value in helping to identify the monkeys that currently sit on the entrepreneur’s shoulder and to identify on whose shoulder each of these monkeys should reside.
There is a related interpersonal issue that often should be confronted by the managerial entrepreneur with the assistance of her coach. This issue concerns interpersonal disappointment. The managerial entrepreneur not only is inclined to take on the problems that should be owned by other people, she also is inclined to blame the other person for not taking over ownership of the problem. Typically, the managerial entrepreneur was not clear in the first place about who should own the problem and usually has never shared her disappointment or blame with the other party. This unarticulated “blame game” can often lead to burnout on the part of the managerial entrepreneur and a growing apprehension on the part of co-workers about the unexpressed anger and frustration being held by the entrepreneur: “Jim is a time bomb who is ready to explode at any moment!”Download Article 1K Club