There are three different types of CEOs:
All business owners have each type inside of them, but one is always dominant. Your first type makes up about 70 percent of how you run your business. Your second type makes up about 20-25 percent of you. The third type is your “forgotten” type that only makes up a few percent of how you operate. Most failure in business comes down to the type the business owner has neglected.
Defining the Three Different Types of CEOs
First is the Entrepreneur. We often overuse the word entrepreneur. You don’t have to be the entrepreneur type to be a business owner. Sometimes, it’s more beneficial to be an Operator or Artist.
The Entrepreneur is driven by risk. They are all grow, grow, grow and go, go, go. Their primary focus is on anything that can help grow the business.
The Operator loves systems. They believe everything can be solved through creating and implementing an efficent systems. They like to manage people and make sure everything is done the same every time. Their primary focus is on consistency and efficiency.
The Artist is all about providing the best possible product or service. Their passion is in creating, experimenting, and selling. They are primarily concerned with the “cause” of their business. Meaning is crucial for the Artist.
In my book the Business Bible, I explain the three different types of CEOs using an Italian Restaurant as an example. Imagine an Entrepreneur, Operator, and Artist open an Italian restaurant.
The Three Different Types of CEOs in Action
The restaurant is doing well. The Entrepreneur wants the others to consider opening new locations or signing the lease on a bigger place. They are constantly experimenting and taking risks on anything they think could help grow the business.
One day, a customer suggests to the Entrepreneur the lasagna would be even better with mushrooms. They tell the Artist about the suggestion, and he freaks out. It’s his grandmother’s recipe, he says, and mushrooms aren’t in authentic lasagna. These are the type of issues where Entrepreneurs and Artists frequently butt heads.
The Entrepreneur and the Artist take their problem to the Operator. He doesn’t care if the lasagna has mushrooms or not. All he cares about is consistency. His suggestion is to create a recipe so the same amount of mushrooms is included every time. Then, serve 50 with mushrooms and 50 without, and have these 100 customers fill out a survey.
The ideal business scenario is to have three owners, all who are dominant in one of the different types of CEOs. At the very least, you need a partner who is dominant in your “forgotten” type to to get the most out of your business.
The Makeup of a Business Owner
As we discussed earlier, our dominant type makes up about 70 percent of our makeup as a business owner. This is the type that comes naturally. Your secondary CEO type is the one you can hone through consistent work. The forgotten type is one you just won’t be able to do as good as someone who is dominant in that CEO type, no matter how hard you try. Here are some examples of how these types look in the real world.
Operator, Artist, Entrepreneur
You have a profitable, stable business. Your work fairly normal hours. You can’t take long vacations because you have to stay on top of things. You provide a quality, consistent product or service, but you haven’t pushed to grow your business nearly as much as you could.
Artist, Operator, Entrepreneur
You probably make just enough to live off your business, but you make a damn good product. If you own a restaurant, people want to eat there because the food is absolutely amazing. You care too much about providing the perfect customer experience that you don’t focus enough on growing your business.
Entrepreneur, Artist, Operator
This combination typically has a business or businesses that are growing way too fast. Some months you win, some months you lose. It’s up and down. You’re successful, but not very organized. Bringing in an operator helps you grow at a steady pace.
A Business Coach Can Help You Figure Out Your CEO Type
Are you having a hard time figuring out your natural CEO type? If so, a business coach can help. They are able to analyze your behavior and see things you aren’t able to see. If you want to learn more about what a business coach does, schedule a consultation today.