Portrait Of An Entrepreneur

The independence, impatience, and impulse that powered your business at the beginning could become its undoing later. That intriguing insight comes from Richard Hagberg, an executive-development consultant in Foster City, Calif., who has compiled a database on the personality and management traits of 400 entrepreneurs and 1,600 corporate executives. "Entrepreneurs have an almost innate ability to establish a business and lead the troops through a storm to achieve a mission," Hagberg says. "But few have what it takes to be the best leaders on a long-term basis." Independence, for example, drives entrepreneurship, but also can hamper growth when the founder can't share authority or bring in a partner. "Most [entrepreneurs] hit a wall at $25 million to $40 million in sales," Hagberg says. This is also when the aggressiveness and propensity for risk-taking critical to starting the business "could charge it off a cliff." The bottom line: If you have all ten Hagberg traits, your startup couldn't be in better hands. Six: You're average. Less than five? Stick with Corporate America. No matter how good you are at getting it up and running, when it hits the big time, start changing your behavior. Seek feedback from your staff, communicate, and surround yourself with corporate-CEO-type personalities. its of.

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