After 7 intense interviews by Udo Dierk with German entrepreneurs who started or took over, but still own, a familiy business we do have the first interesting tendencies concerning our MEL-model of three archetypes "managers", "entrepreneurs" and "leaders".
First observation is that the individual motivations to become an entrepreneur are very different, but two things are in common : firstly the freedom and possibilities to create something new with customer value and secondly to offer value to their employees, being it a safe working environment, a long term perspective to individual development or just earning enough money to have a proper living over a longer period of time.
The second observation is that all of these entrepreneurs are also strong leaders, just one claimed to be also a strong manager, but a weak leader.
The fact that most of these entrepreneurs value themselves also as strong leaders differs substantially from employed executives, even if they evaluate themselves as strong entrepreneurs. The inventory evaluation shows that all of the interviewed entrepreneurs are also very strong leaders, so self perception and inventory results are very much in line. In a corporate setting you can be a strong leader and a weak entrepreneur, but not as an entrepreneur who runs his/her own company. Maybe this is due to the fact that within a corporate setting you have enough people around you with a complementary archetype, that is not the case in a smaller company of some tens or hundreds of people.
We will continue to investigate this very intersting tendency as we move forward with our research.