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Rheinberger 16: 9Ulrike Rheinberger, born in 1961, heads the consulting office peak8 Coaching in Berlin. She is a graduate engineer, work and organizational psychologist and member of the German Federal Coaching Association (DBVC). She started her career as the founder and managing director of the Italian branch of an American software company. After studying engineering, she worked as a scientist and consultant in applied environmental research. Since 2006, she has been advising founders, entrepreneurs and executives on questions of organizational and individual performance. She specializes in strategy, leadership and self-organization in growing companies. More information at www.peak8.de

Successful founding teams and personalities: Multitude beats loneliness

The more complex the business, the larger the team can be. It is not for nothing that the founding teams in Silicon or Berlin Valley often consist of three to five founders. But what role do the individual personalities play in this?

start-up team

Founding teams are more successful

Founding teams are more successful in the long term as an individual founder. This is evidenced by studies that ask for the decisive factors for the success and failure of foundations.

And thus contradict - at least statistically - the myth of the self-centered founding geniuses à la Henry Ford and Steve Jobs or Beate Uhse - to name one of the few female founders. But how do you put together a successful founding team?

But check who is bound by the commercial register

When business marriages diverge, this is usually no less painful than the breaking of love. Or even ends with the slaughter of the goose, which was once to lay golden eggs.

But what makes ideal founding teams? Are opposites attracting each other, or is harmonious collaboration important?

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The two goes together?

We tend to get involved with people who are similar to us. To a certain extent, this is also good for start-up teams.

It makes communication and decisions easier, because the bigger the founding team, the higher the need for coordination. And of course you should share the passion for the idea.

Difference makes more of the sum of peculiarities

Nevertheless, heterogeneous start-ups are promising, which complement each other on both the professional and the personal level in different qualities.

From a technical point of view, it is ideal if you get together with a business partner from whom you can say: He or she can do something that is not mine.

The right degree of dependency

This creates the right amount of mutual dependency to cope with conflicting times, leaving everyone's own playing field on which to be champion.

It broadens the basis of your competences and you do not fly so easily from the steep learning curve of the first founding times. The same applies to personal qualities.

Everyone is the champion in his field

The extrovert for PR and acquisition, the introvert for the long breath. The maker complements the innovator. The observer reflects, the teamworker plays along. The perfectionist leads the ideas of the plasticizer to the end.

With an appropriate “engagement time”, in which future business partners ask and answer everything to each other, work together on a trial basis in preparatory projects and treat themselves to external expertise from one of the many start-up grants.

How to find what binds for a long time?

And only when head and belly say yes, do you get together. A divorce treaty is most definitely recommended, by carefully arranging the arrangements for a separation.

And if you want to start alone? Then create multitude with alternative means and use business master tables, colleague networks, cooperations, external service providers, freelance cooperation. And maybe he will come, the ideal founding partner.

Convinced of itself and risky

But are there any traits and characteristics that characterize founders and entrepreneurs? Research answers this question with a clear yes and no. Entrepreneurship is not in the genes, but there is a connection between personality traits and entrepreneurship.

Of course, the personality does not come out of the blue: it is the result of diverse genetic, family and social influences. In fact, it can be shown that entrepreneurs are more extroverted and more open to experience than employees. Successful entrepreneurs have a higher self-efficacy conviction on average and are more willing to take risks.

Whoever assumes responsibility has better cards

Anyone who is inclined to blame himself for the consequences of his actions and not to blame others for failing has as a founder better maps.

Those who shy away from the risk become too hesitant in their business decisions, and those who are “sensation seekers” are constantly on the lookout for the thrill Company soon hit the wall.

Introvert = No Entrepreneur?

Should not introvert people better then? No. As with any statistical context, it is only a matter of frequencies. There are also introvert successful founders, only they are rarer. Just as men on average are bigger than women, there are nevertheless individual women who are bigger than certain men.

And ultimately, it's not just personality. Entrepreneurial and professional skills count as well. Finally, nobody is born with basic business knowledge. And what you are not, you have to learn or delegate to others.

Test your strengths and weaknesses

Knowing your own strengths and weaknesses is worthwhile for entrepreneurs in any case. Under the key words "green tests", tests can be carried out on the Internet for self-assessment.

And a good self-check is to ask yourself the question: "What do I like to do and what do I tend to avoid?" We are generally good at what we like to do.

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2 responses to "Successful founding teams and personalities: multitude beats lone warrior"

  1. Maria says:

    What form of advice do you offer?

  2. Nina Gamm says:

    Should I start my own business? I am 55 years old, female, married, 2 adult children, 3 cats, many years of experience as a secretary. In a little less than a year I wrote 542 applications and had 27 interview interviews.

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