Magazine article Management Today

First-Class Coach

Magazine article Management Today

First-Class Coach

Article excerpt

Q: I've been in business with a friend for four years and I now feel I am carrying her. I do two-thirds of the business, but we split the proceeds equally. I have ambitious plans for the company, but she wants it to stay small. She's not particularly happy and seems to find business quite stressful. What should we do?

A: When I'm working with the founders of new businesses, I ask them to think about how each of them sees the future - for the company and for themselves. Usually, in the heat and excitement of starting their own company, the last thing on the mind of the founding partners is how it will end. However, by spending time sharing personal and company ambitions, it's possible to flush out potential mismatches in agendas so as to avoid future problems.

There are all sorts of reasons for starting a company. For the minority, they've thought up a brilliant idea and they're keen to exploit it. For others, there is the lure of making lots of money for themselves and the desire for greater autonomy than corporate employment offers. Many are refugees from other organisations, motivated less by a specific vision of the enterprise they want to build than by the desire to extract themselves from an unsatisfactory situation.

Given this diversity, it is hardly surprising that, once the thrill of the launch has waned, members of the founding team often discover differences between their individual needs and aspirations - which can lead to unhappiness.

Interesting work done years ago by Edgar Schein at MIT identified 'career anchors', core motivations affecting choices in work. Though a number of factors usually govern our job satisfaction, research showed that most people have an overriding preference when making career decisions. So for someone whose principle anchor is security, stability of income and reassurance of continuing employment are more important than the prospect of greater reward with greater risk. For others, the prime anchor is the desire to become more expert in their field, so that a promotion to a senior management role that takes them away from their special interest is likely to deliver a low level of job satisfaction. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.