Many of the most successful entrepreneurs I work with often admit that one of their greatest weaknesses is their lack of attention span: their inability to stay focused on any one topic for longer than ten minutes. Their boards, teammates, subordinates, and even their loved ones get very frustrated with this lack of focus.
Most of these entrepreneurs and their teams view this as a weakness. At SM Advisors, we jokingly call it Entrepreneurial Distraction Disorder or EDD. What we have learned is that when managed properly, EDD can be an incredible gift that brings significant value to an organization.
An entrepreneur’s active mind is what gives him/her the ability to generate the ideas that businesses are created and built upon. Entrepreneurs generate the ideas that employ millions of people across our great country. They are the dreamers and the visionaries. They see the future while others are focused on today.
If you are an entrepreneur or if you work with one that shows signs of EDD, you can follow these easy steps to take advantage of this God-given talent.
- Try taking a Behavioral Assessment to clearly understand your strengths and behavioral style.
- Have open, candid discussion about it with those around you and discuss the strengths and weaknesses of EDD and your style. Implement techniques to manage it together.
- Build a team around yourself that will compliment your strengths, vision and ideas.
- Most successful entrepreneurs have execution experts around them who are good at handling all the details behind that “big idea.”
- The execution expert has the ability to sort out which ideas are legitimate and which ones are long shots.
- Capture your visionary ideas on paper and continue to work on it until the vision is clear. Develop a business plan around each legitimate idea to make it a business reality.
- Do not attach new business ideas to current companies.
- I believe entrepreneurs make a big mistake when they try to start a new company within their “cash cow,” or the company that is performing at a high level. I often see entrepreneurs destroy their cash cow companies when they try to do this.
- Be sure to set up a new company with separate leadership for accountability and financial purposes.
Unfortunately, when I work with organizations, I often see employees and team members who consider EDD to be a weakness. However, SM Advisors has learned from implementing these steps in numerous organizations that when managed properly EDD is unique and powerful gift.
If you think you or someone you work with has EDD, put a plan in place to take advantage of this gift. Remember, Those Who Plan –PROFIT!
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