The Entrepreneur vs The Employee

Posted: April 24, 2011 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , ,

The “versus” in the title might make it seem like it’s a battle or a game or a competition at least.

No, I do not intend to do any of that.

I am just comparing the two.. !

The starting point to this thought process is from viewing the absenteeism numbers at office, many a day. I stagger to see the number of folks who have taken leave!

Well, part of that reaction is about getting used to the fact that we are a large team now, and a small percentage of a large number, will still appear to be a decent absolute number.

But that apart, there is the second aspect. About how differently an entrepreneur thinks, from a typical employee.

I mean, I get requests for leave, because a “brother-in-law is not well”.

As an entrepreneur, I have brothers and other in laws, and few out laws also not keeping well, and I have still trudged in to work.

Or when I get a request from someone who wants to leave early because he / she has a “bad headache”!

Again, as an entrepreneur, one might be in a similar situation. And one may take a Crocin or a Saridon, or whatever, but just hang in, at the office anyway!

So I am not saying which is better or worse.

As an entrepreneur, I may think that why can’t the employee be more like me? Or should I sanction this leave at all??

Then, there is the other thought. An an entrepreneur, giving work precedence over other priorities, I might have erred, in missing out on the PTA meetings and being beside a close relative and giving them comfort when they were unwell.

Does an entrepreneur need to think a bit like an employee, about his own priorities, and does an employee need to think more like the entrepreneur in giving higher priority to the work??

Obviously the above are generalized scenarios, and there are exceptions, both sides.

Just wondering about the stereotypes here..

  1. More than thinking about whether an entrepreneur needs to think like an employee or an employee needs to think like an entrepreneur, its the attitude towards work.

    The dedication towards your work is matter of personality. There are many entrepreneurs I know would never be good employees as taking instructions from some or working within a certain constraint is just against their thought process.

    The other way round is also true that there are so many employees who will never want to become entrepreneurs as risk taking and facing the vagaries of the market is just not in their blood. They would prefer their secure pay packet at the end of the month.

    My views on Entrepreneurship:

  2. Samudra says:

    I feel there should be a common ground between those 2 extremes, which would be ideal.

    Btw, was just wondering what would happen if one were to completely hand over control of their professional lives to the employees. I mean, e.g. unlimited leaves. Instead of the “permission” mentality, what if they were given the authorization to take leaves whenever they feel like?

    Two possible outcomes are obvious. One, where they take advantage of it, and royally screw up the company. But once this has happened, is it possible that the equilibrium might shift to the other side, where they start taking their own work personally, and “live and breathe” their work? Once they have seen how much havoc they have caused (if at all that happens), will they be mature enough to work together as a team and sort out / sacrifice a little their own leaves for the benefit of others?

    Of course, the time period involved would depend upon the maturity of the employees, but is this a realistic scenario? Would love your opinions on this.

    • Sanjay Mehta says:

      There is a globally known, interesting example of a radical approach of the kind that you suggest.

      The company is Semco, in Brazil. The person who came up with the radical thought is Ricardo Semler. And he has been very successful, and people from around the world visit there, to understand how he has managed it.

      Easy to think on paper, tough to put into practice. But there is one example, anyway..

      If you have not read it, highly recommend reading his book, “Maverick”.

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