Intensity Isn’t the Only Way

I listened to someone share his observations about entrepreneurs. The gist of it was that intense entrepreneurs are the most successful entrepreneurs. By “intense” he meant outspoken and demanding—characteristics that push them and others to get things done.

I disagree. People of all personality types can be successful. People who are laid back or don’t say much can be just as ambitious and convicted as outspoken, demanding people. They just communicate it differently.

Building something great isn’t about pounding your fist on the table and yelling. It’s about giving your team clarity on what the mission is, holding everyone accountable, motivating them along the way, and celebrating wins together. If you do these things and have the right people, and they’ve bought into what you’re trying to accomplish, you can accomplish what seems impossible. Notice that these management skills don’t require intensity. You can do them all and still be as laid back as you want.

If you’re a founder or aspiring founder, remember that intensity isn’t an indication of your ambition, conviction, or likelihood of success. Be yourself. Lead in a way that fits who you are naturally.