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This is not about Elon Musk

August 21, 2018

This past Thursday James B. Stewart wrote about Elon Musk in a NY Times article titled “Inside the Mind of a Visionary.” The article provides an interesting description of a grand visionary entrepreneur with an established business. Here are excerpts from that article describing the traits of some of these visionary entrepreneurs.

  • Entrepreneurs often have a temperament and a constellation of traits that can create enormous value
  • The same traits that create value can also associated with significant risk taking
  • Entrepreneurs generally have higher levels of creativity, energy, risk tolerance and impulsivity
  • Impulsivity evidences a need for speed, a sense of urgency, higher motivation and greater restlessness
  • Entrepreneurs are quicker to spot and act on opportunities…sometimes leading them into problems
  • Some develop behavioral destabilizers such as sleep deficiency leading to impaired functioning, higher irritability and adversely affected judgment
  • Some feel that many rules get in the way of getting things done and should not apply to them
  • A suggested solution to reduce risks is to have the visionary slow done by “sleeping on a decision”
  • Founders need a constraint to slow some things down by being willing to consult with their board before an important decision is made
  • There needs to be a balance to make the positive strengths work while minimizing the downside
  • Oh, and they need to stop making announcements through Twitter
  • Another Oh. Grand visionaries do not like to be controlled

I found the article and observations interesting and insightful and while I believe some of these traits applied to the visionaries I have worked with, most did not; but again, Elon Musk’s brilliance and creativity is off the charts.

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