The autonomous entrepreneur is also inclined to be impatient in working with other people. He often does not trust the competency of those with whom he now works (or with whom he could work). Alternatively, he doesn’t trust the intentions of his colleagues. This entrepreneur’s coach can be of great assistance in helping her reluctant client to sort out the trust issue. First, the coach can help her client determine if the mistrust is based in a sense that the other person is incompetent (trust in competence) or in a sense that the other person is not interested in the client’s welfare (trust in intentions). If the trust issue relates to intentions, then the coach might ask: “why don’t you trust this person—have they done anything specific to warrant your mistrust?” “What might you say or do which would enable you to test out this person’s trustworthiness?” If the trust issue is based in concern about competence then the coach might ask such questions as: “have you actually witnessed this person’s incompetence or do you just assume that he/she is incompetent?” “What might you ask this person to do that would demonstrate whether or not they are competent—something that would not impact in a significant way on the operations of your organization or project?” As one can tell from these questions, the key objectives are to determine the reasons for or sources of the mistrust and to determine what the other person might do to either justify or overturn the mistrust. The autonomous entrepreneur is often inclined to live in his own world, without much actual data to support his assumptions about the motives or talents of other people. A coach can be effective if she helps her client open the door and let some data about the world enter the life of her autonomous client.
A second issue is commonly found among autonomous entrepreneurs. Like the creative entrepreneur, the autonomous entrepreneur is likely to take on too much of the work load. As I have already noted, this type of entrepreneur is hesitant to ask for assistance—and this extends to the workplace. This coaching client is often unwilling or unable to seek support from co-workers or delegate work. This is partly a matter of trust, as I have already indicated. It is also a matter of lost freedom and lost control. The autonomous entrepreneur fears that if he collaborates with other people, he will no longer be able to do what he wants to do, when he wants to do it and in a way that fits with his own work habits. To some extent this fear is justified, for collaboration always involves a loss of some freedom and control. The entrepreneur’s coach needs to be honest about this trade-off (otherwise her client is likely to no longer trust his coach’s intentions). After acknowledging the potential loss, the coach can help her client recognize the gains to be found in collaboration.
These gains might include greater success in promoting the product or service, broadened perspectives regarding the nature or use of the product or service, and the creation of an audience (made up of co-workers) who can fully appreciate the talents and achievements of the autonomous entrepreneur. While this third reason (appreciation) might not initially be acknowledged by the autonomous entrepreneur, it could ultimately be of greatest importance. Like the technical and functional entrepreneur, the autonomous entrepreneur is often less interested in the immediate financial benefits accruing from his activities than in the impact of his work on the world. If a tree falls in the forest and there is no one there to hear it, does the tree make a sound? If the autonomous entrepreneur has created a wonderful product or service by himself—but there is no one there to witness this achievement—than is it really wonderful and can the entrepreneur gain satisfaction in what he has offered the world?Download Article 1K Club