Entrepreneur's dilemma


I am an entrepreneur by heart. I try new things. I learn daily. I have the confidence that if I try something, I can pick up the basics to a good standard. This belief led me to leave an officer’s job in central government 27 years back, though I was already promoted 3 times in the first ten years of the service. This is also despite the fact that in most of the Hindi-speaking states in India, from where I belong, the first preference for a job is in government, for safety and pension. By the way, I left without any pensionary benefits. And no, I was not asked to resign. I actually was asked even on my last working day in service, if I would like to continue. I, of course, left. Entrepreneurs can imagine what I would have felt in government service.


But this post is not about me. This post is about entrepreneurs. How do they feel during the journey as an entrepreneur and a specific dilemma? And after that, what?


Today, I am writing on a subject that almost every management book talks about. The message is – “What brought you here won’t take you there.” So, the entrepreneur’s original team may not remain a part of her new enlarged team, when the growth is taking place or has taken place. Some of them are left behind. And that is where my dilemma starts. Is the growth of an entrepreneur limited to the individual only? Is her team’s growth not a necessary parameter for measuring enterprise growth? What is the growth of an enterprise if people working there don’t grow? How come the entrepreneurs are not found guilty if some of the original team members have to leave the team because they could not cope with the bigger size enterprise? Whose responsibility was their growth?


The above scenario may not be an uncommon scenario anywhere in the world, as per my knowledge, and of course, the industry accepts it. What surprises me is the same management fraternity also accepts that the company should have a culture, in which we have to look after each employee. However as per my observation, it is only till they are performing well the old employees are accepted, otherwise they are fired. I also read everywhere management books saying that people are the real assets, but maybe, we are very selective in our definition of “people”. I find all these messages contradictory for an entrepreneur.


I recall a video by #simonsinek on YouTube where he mockingly asks the managers if they can tell their child – “If you don’t get “A” grades in your examination, you are up for adoption”.


I feel it should be the duty of the management gurus to give clarity on this issue to the entrepreneurs. Speaking two opposites won't help. It puts guilt in the mind of entrepreneurs when they leave old associates on the path of their growth, especially those people, who helped a lot in the initial journey. Since I am a culture promoter now after renouncing my entrepreneur’s role, I would like to know your viewpoints on this subject. Do we care for each of our people and make specific plans for everyone’s growth or do we care only for the smart, productive, and efficient people?


Please drop your comment below or fix up a time to talk to me on www.rajeevaranjan.com.


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