From Wild Thing to Wunderground—an Entrepreneur’s Journey
Entrepreneurs take pride in being wild things. I should know—I am one, and I’ve toiled for years to overcome my own tendency to live out of captivity, running free from the herd.
For most of my career, I’ve also had the opportunity to work with other entrepreneurs. Because it takes one to know one, I feel confident in saying, “Entrepreneurs hate being pinned down, in a box, or put into a pumpkin shell. Roberts Rules of Order literally makes our skin crawl!
Perhaps it isn’t surprising that we have an almost genetic aversion to “systems and structure.” We tell ourselves they stifle our creativity. We rebel against them. In actuality, our control-freakish selves are just being confronted by a formidable adversary, benevolent intentions aside.
If truth be told, wild things don’t necessarily age well. Rugged individuals eventually hit the ceiling, reach their limits, ripen then start to rot. Gardens left free to roam eventually strangle all life-giving goodness. It’s an unfortunate reality of individuals and entrepreneurial companies…and it doesn’t have to be.
What if we could both accept our nature and embrace a new path—a path that offers more structure while actually freeing us to be more of who we long to be?
Years ago I worked with J. Peterman whose brand, in part, was based on a handful of core values— one of which was, “People want to live life the way they wish they were.” Even Peterman later acknowledged, “Such a philosophy, so broadly stated, didn’t give our employees nearly enough guidance.”
Bringing the Entrepreneurial Operating System (EOS®) inside a company actually moves people from longing for it to living it. It has the power to create a healthy root system that can move a company from Wild Thing to Wunderground, and good to great. There’s a lesson in here somewhere. I’ll leave you to discover it.