4 Dysfunctions of Entrepreneurs

By: Anne Dranitsaris
October 3, 2018 
  4 min read 

Entrepreneurial dysfunctions are pervasive patterns of behavior that limit the effectiveness of the entrepreneur in leading people or the business.

It is not who they are, it is a pattern of behavior they use to meet their needs and keep them afloat when building their business. These are not personality disorders, but dysfunctional behavioral patterns that can be recognized, understood and changed.

Quadrant Brain ModelWe have determined, based on the Striving Styles® Personality System and the four functions of the brain, that there are predictable and observable dysfunctional patterns of behavior associated with each function.  This leads to four distinct dysfunctional styles of entrepreneurial behavior.  While any entrepreneur can shift to a behavior based on situations, the dysfunctions are predictable patterns of behavior that can limit the growth and development of the entrepreneur and their business.

Each quadrant of the brain has two entrepreneurial styles that are most likely work from the associated dysfunction. While the dysfunction is the same, the behavior of each can look very different. The following are the 4 dysfunctions based on 8 distinct entrepreneurial styles.

The Patriarchal Dysfunction > 
Traditional Business Entrepreneur & Expert Service Entrepreneur

When operating from their dysfunction, their need to be “top dog” becomes destructive to their business. They must be in control and will centralize authority and power in themselves. They don’t accept anything that doesn’t conform to their ideas or affirm their position. They build their business from a position of “I know what I am doing, so don’t tell me what to do.”  They don’t accept challenges to their authority, expect to be right and will get rid of anyone who opposes them.

The Narcissistic Dysfunction > 
Business Enterprise Entrepreneur & Visionary Enterprise Entrepreneur

When operating from their dysfunction, these entrepreneurial styles avoid dealing with present issues and live out of the image they are okay and everyone else is the problem. They avoid reality by pursuing grandiose ideas and discounting or devaluing the input of others that contract what they want to be true. They believe others are raining on their parade or are envious rather than realistic.

The Matriarchal Dysfunction > 
Social Enterprise Entrepreneur & Artisan Service Entrepreneur

When operating from their dysfunction, these entrepreneurial styles become subjective and use emotional reasoning, taking everything that happens personally. They put the need for cooperation and collaboration ahead of the needs of the business. They use their ability to empathize and nurture to protect themselves and resolve conflict putting the needs of others ahead of their own. Emotions take priority over the business.

The Avoidant Dysfunction >
Experiential Service Entrepreneur & Traditional Service Entrepreneur

When operating from their dysfunction, these entrepreneurial styles avoid unpleasant experiences by either physically leaving the source of the problem or withdrawing into themselves. They are no longer available to deal with their employees or the business.  They also avoid or ignore consequences of their behavior dismissing what others have to say. They avoid what is going on for as long as they can, without understanding the impact that avoiding conflict can have on their employees and morale.

Want to learn more about your Entrepreneurial Style? Take our Quiz and find out or register for our upcoming Achieving Entrepreneurial Potential webinar.

What's Your Entrepreneurial Style

Using the latest research in the brain and personality, we have determined there are eight types of entrepreneurs based on how the brain is organized. The What Type of Entrepreneur are You? Quiz allows you to learn what your Entrepreneur Style is and lets you see what area of your brain you use the most.