I’ve been giving a lot of thought recently to the different components required to build an effective business. What are the key functions required in every business, and who are the people who are best suited for each role?
As much as it would be nice to be awesome at everything, there are always some things that we are good at, and others that we are not. It is very insightful to recognize what you are good at and enjoy doing and identify what you should delegate to other people because they are better at it or enjoy it more.
To help concretize things, I’ve identified the stereotypical Myers-Briggs traits that would typically characterize each role. I believe that at the nucleus of every successful business there are three key roles that need be filled, as follows:
The Strategist is charged with making the tactical decisions that will help the venture accomplish its goals and vision. This includes analyzing successes, opportunities and failures; as well as allocating resources and developing marketing strategies. The Strategist may or may not be the visionary behind the venture, but they are effectively charged with steering the metaphorical ship towards its goal.
The Myers-Briggs type most suited for this role is an NT, whose iNtuative, big-picture thinking combined with a rational, Thinking approach to decision making allows them to factor in the myriad of variables facing every business decision and arrive at logical decisions. The addition of Introversion might further add to an open-minded and unconventional strategic approach.
All those struggling artists, lone visionaries, and creatives of the world are in desperate need of a connector. These form the outer face of a venture, the people whose greatest skill is the ability to connect with others and persuade them to buy into an idea or a product. They may or may not be visionaries or creators themselves, but their ability to influence others is crucial for the successful interpersonal interactions requires of almost every business.
The type that is most naturally suited for this role is of course the Extrovert, complemented by the free-spirited, uninhibited SP or the passionate, visionary NF. Your choice of traits that will complement your extroverted connector should depend on the type of product you are selling combined with the types of customers you are selling to.
A facet that Myers-Briggs unfortunately does not measure, but which is still extremely important in this role, is drive. Your connector needs to have a go-getter attitude, a strong energetic force that pushes interactions towards the final sale. The PDP personality assessment report is an invaluable tool to measure this trait.
Every business has its small details and its day to day running which must, fortunately or unfortunately, adhere to some sort of structure. The glue that holds it all together, the person makes sure that there is a place for everything and everything is in its place, is The Administrator.
I often marvel at the capacity of administrators to shoulder a tremendous amount of minutia – simultaneously juggling multiple deadlines and requirements in a manner that, were I to try doing them myself, would immediately result in my brain exploding. They serve as a perfect foil for the big-pictured, often absentminded strategist, and for the connector who likes focusing on people and goals and dislikes the accompanying practical details.
The ideal administrator is the SJ, whose practical, detail-oriented Sensing trait is complemented by their Judging love of closure and structure, resulting in a responsible, no-nonsense individual who loves doing the right thing, in the right way.
Putting it into practice
It’s important to note that these roles don’t necessarily have to be three defined employees. You could have an entire department of Administrators. You could have an administrator who you outsource to on a freelance basis. You may be running a business yourself in which case you would find yourself wearing these three different “hats” at different points.
Regardless of the situation, it helps to be clear on the type of work that needs to be done and the best kind of person who is suited to do it. Doing so will help you ensure that you and those around you focus as much as possible on what you excel at, which is one of the biggest keys for a successful venture.
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