From ambition, bravery and risk-taking to boundless energy and confidence, there are some characteristics that are generally agreed to make a brilliant businessperson. But alongside these traits, there are some less obvious qualities that I think contribute to people’s entrepreneurial success – and which may be seen as flaws in many other contexts.
Flaw #1: an aversion to the typical 9 to 5
From a young age, I knew I wasn’t suited to a typical 9-5 job; instead I wanted to set out on my own path and try something different. This is partly why, at the age of 22, I set up my first company in Sydney.
It’s common for entrepreneurs to feel dissatisfied unless they have a challenge to rise to, and it’s partly what spurs them on to attempt something new and to take risks. The idea that no two days will be the same and that they will be masters of their own destiny gives these people the motivation and hunger they need to pursue their dreams as entrepreneurs.
Flaw #2: a tendency to challenge the rules
In most work environments, it’s important to have a healthy respect for following instructions and fitting in with company rules and structure if you are to climb the career ladder and achieve success. But the journey to the ‘top’ tends to be a little different if you’ve opted for the entrepreneur route.
Entrepreneurs have a tendency to challenge the status quo and to play by their own rules. This predisposition to question orthodoxies and to devise new and improved ways of doing things can allow them to see opportunities where others only see problems. In short, a tendency to question the status quo can make you a natural leader, which obviously helps in steering a company and its employees to success.
Flaw #3: obsessing over even the smallest detail
Obsessing over the smallest of details can be perceived as time-wasting – and even annoying – in many areas of life. But for a business leader it plays a crucial role in ensuring their enterprise runs smoothly and they stay one step ahead of the competition.
This is especially the case when you’re just starting out. I recall the early days in my own business when I personally saw to the unloading of delivery vans to make sure my precious stock was accounted for!
If you’re an entrepreneur or business owner, the buck literally does stop with you. So, being determined to make sure that every element of your company is set up to help you succeed – from the quality of your products and services to the set-up of your office – helps you to set yourself apart from competitors and ensure lasting success.
In my experience, one of the most significant hallmarks of a great business leader is the ability to remain focussed and refusing to let standards slip, no matter how much pressure you are under.
As the founder and chairman of the Cobra Group of Companies, Chris Niarchos is responsible for setting the strategic direction for all the businesses within the group. This includes Global Fundraising Services, which is a first-choice donor acquisition and donor care agency for many non-profit organisations around the world. Operating across 25 countries, it offers a range of services, including online and face-to-face fundraising and on-going donor management services.