Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Your Entrepreneurial Zone of Genius

Back in May, I gave an overview of a new innovative tool for entrepreneurs called Entrepreneurial Zone of Genius or EZOG for short. EZOG is a web based assessment tool that helps entrepreneurs understand their core strengths and weaknesses as entrepreneurs as opposed to overall personality assessments such as MBTI.

As promised, in this post I provide details from my own assessment so you can see for yourself how useful the information is. So, follow me as I take you through the passageways of my entrepreneurial mind.

The below chart indicates my primary style as Cultivator, which according to EZOG: Owns the big picture, understands processes and people, growth focused, grounded with natural leadership, inspires the culture.


The report identifies me as a Cultivator with a score of 64, but Architect and Visionary are close seconds with scores of 63. The largest deviation is Builder, but is only separated from the other types by 4 and 3 points.

EZOG ranks types on a scale of 1 to 100 based on predisposition to certain behaviors. In my case, with Cultivator, Architect and Visionary being so close, I was confused. How can I be typed at all with such an even distribution? Well, it turns out my results fall outside of the norm. A more typical spread resembles the following:



The EZOG team said my scores are indicative of a person who is well balanced across the four types, exhibiting no real extremes. This caused the proverbial light bulb to go off in my head.

EZOG touches on a distinction in entrepreneurial types that MBTI testing alone does not. More on this later.

What I like best about EZOG is the summary report, which provides just the right amount of information without making me comb through several pages of data to reach a conclusion.

The following summarizes my combination of styles.

Strengths

Derrick jones your results show you are a Cultivator with a small 1 point primary to secondary style spread (average is 9). Your secondary EZOG style is that of an Architect. Your lowest score indicates that you are least aligned to the thinking styles of Builder. The spread across all styles of 4 (average is 25) indicates you have a good idea of what makes you unique, as well as what you are not...

What I find interesting here is how EZOG compares my 1 point spread across styles with the average spread of 9. This indicates my score is outside the norm. The report goes on to explain what this difference means.

In the Cultivator zone of genius, you will typically be balancing energies of collaboration and leadership. This balance will be unique to you. From your grounded perspective you can see what to do and may even be capable of doing it, however you know that working with others will accomplish more, quicker... You enjoy conversation and probably prefer to discuss the future over the past as well as focusing on the bigger picture and not being consumed by the details.

What is interesting about this analysis is how closely it correlates to my career as an IT consultant specializing in Microsoft Active Directory architecture. Although I love the technology and systems engineering in general, I always gravitate toward the "big picture" side of things. First with systems design, then project leading, project management and eventually entrepreneurship.

This is also true in my home, as my wife likes to point out my preference for big picture thinking, while she focuses on the details of the here and now. It makes for interesting discussions at the dinner table!

EZOG and MBTI

Also interesting is how closely EZOG matches one aspect of my MBTI type of INTJ. The "N" in INTJ stands for "iNtuition," which indicates:

INTJs look at the big picture and like to focus on abstract information rather than concrete details.

EZOG also highlights a contradiction in my behavior I always found difficult to understand. The "I" in INTJ stands for "Introverted," which describes the INTJ as:

...prefer to work alone.

Yet, EZOG states:

...you know working with others will accomplish more, quicker... 


So, which is correct? It depends on the context. 

EZOG identifies entrepreneurial types, not personality types. As an entrepreneur, I operate differently than I do in other activities. When writing, researching or working on individual tasks, I prefer to be left alone. However, if I'm working on complex systems such as IT projects or systems architecture, I want the best team in place to ensure a successful outcome.

Entrepreneurship counts as one of those complex systems that require the best minds in the right positions. EZOG masterfully captures this nuance.

Weaknesses


EZOG describes my weaknesses as an entrepreneur and how I can improve.

With Builder being your less dominant style, you may occasionally struggle to get from deciding what to do, to doing it! You can be useful in connecting to others, overcoming roadblocks and you are comfortable helping others. You clearly see what needs doing... Doing it yourself may be a common outcome and yet it is shared with the frustration that this time is being invested ‘outside’ your zone of genius.

This last sentence really leaped off the screen, and helped me realize I need to do a better job of delegating. Something I struggle with from time to time.

So, what is the solution?

Give yourself permission to watch as well as help others succeed, and let their success be your success... By just lending encouragement and the 'occasional' hand – getting things done is not all about doing it yourself.

Yep, when under the stress of a deadline, I tend to jump in and take over. Then, become frustrated because, as the report indicates:

...this time is being invested ‘outside’ your zone of genius.

Then, there is this:

Make the most of combining your genius styles of Cultivator and Architect to give your ideas and concepts form, so that your images/concepts will attract people more easily to you, rather than self-promotion. Seek out opportunities to collaborate, and accept that your 'best partners' will not think the way you do, so embrace the difference.

Ouch.

Translation:

1. It's not all about you.
2. Be patient in developing and sharing your ideas.
3. Find people who balance you out to keep you from going over the cliff.

Conclusion

When I received my full EZOG report back in May, it was still under develop with many more enhancements to come. Even in this state, I found the information useful enough to modify my behavior and approach.

I always wondered how to apply MBTI in the entrepreneurial context, and EZOG did an excellent job doing this for me.

Take action now and head over to the EZOG website to get your free assessment. The success of your venture may depend on it.

Godspeed and I look forward to seeing you in The Players Lounge.

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