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three faces of ‘e’


boss, and barely tolerates the idea of having one. That is why she owns her own business.


If “Overseer” does not fit comfortably in your consciousness, you may mentally convert the word to “Manager”. The term “Overseer” was intentionally used instead of Manager because of the vague misuse of the term “manager” in common language. Using “Overseer” more graphically defines the behavior characteristics exhibited in this management style.


The third face is the “Entrepreneur”. This is the visionary. She needs Overseers (managers) and “Doers”, but cannot allow herself to be trapped into being either. She creates the systems for the Overseers to execute and the Doers to perform. She is the boss – unless she starts managing or doing. When she does, she stops being the entrepreneur.


WHO’S AT THE TOP? In all small businesses there is one person at the top: the final decision-maker. In the description above, and the discussion below, it is easy to slip into the idea that we are talking about a hierarchy with three types of people in the same business,


the Entrepreneur at the top, the Overseers managing operations, and the Doers doing the work. To think this way would be missing the point. The fact is, is there are very few true entrepreneurs running businesses today. There are far more Overseers in charge – but, remember they also have the title of President. Over two-thirds of businesses are run by Doers, who are also called the President. Therein lays the huge challenge.


THE THREE FACES IN PRACTICE Let’s look at how these three faces manifest themselves in real life in more detail:


• VISION The Entrepreneur creates a picture of what the business should look like at some point in the future and sets about changing the business to make it match that picture.


The Overseer runs the business she has, and repairs the damage when it occurs, while steadily moving it forward. Her future is in terms of the next payroll, monthly report or quarterly summary.


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