The steps of decision-making are the following:

  1. Defreeze
  2. Accumulate
  3. Deliberate
  4. Incubate
  5. Illuminate
  6. Accommodate
  7. Finalize
  8. Reinforce

Individuals with a strong (E)entrepreneurial style—very creative people with a vision and endless ideas—move through the decision-making process very quickly. (E)-types hate getting into the details, although the devil is in the details. They rush from slight accumulation into illumination, which excites them, and proceed quickly to finalization, skipping accommodation where questions, doubts and even disagreements come to the surface.

When the time comes to implement the decision, accommodation occurs. People have questions and doubts, but they rarely dare to express those questions and/or doubts for fear of how the (E)-type might react. (E)-types are very ego driven, and they often consider questions or doubts as a personal affront that they will not forgive. It is as if the person asking the questions or expressing doubts—or, God forbid, voicing disagreements—is challenging the (E)-type’s intelligence or integrity. This is why people who report to an (E)-type are usually palleros, a Spanish word for people who clap their hands in public and say “yes”, but in private, they express their dismay. (Watch Trump’s White House staff).

The danger is that (E)-types might make poor or wrong decisions when they fail to allow those who are supposed to implement the decision to test it. (E)-types have the power to take the system, the organization, or the country off the cliff.

Usually, people misunderstand what the (E)-type is saying. Because the (E)-type is enthusiastic, when he or she is illuminating, they give the impression that they have already finalized their decision and that they are disinterested in accommodating any dissension. But if you listen to them closely you will note that they repeat themselves many times and even in the same sentence, and often contradict themselves… also in the same sentence.

This is happening because they are deciding “on the run”. They did not think first what they want to say. They just have an idea of what they want to say and start thinking while talking.

That can cause paralysis in the organization or panic. They do not know what the real decision is.

Furthermore, they are prone to say: “it is too late for you to challenge my decision. I already changed my mind.” So, they are in continuous flow and one has difficulty implementing their decision because one does not know if it is real, final, or still “cooking”.

(E)s are very impatient and believe their tasks can be accomplished rapidly (they are like an eagle, flying high above the ground. For them moving from one location to the other takes just one movement of the wings, while for on the ground it might take them a long time to make the same movement. Not acting at the speed, the (E) expects (He wants yesterday what he dreams about tomorrow) makes him paranoid and hateful of his subordinates. “It is difficult to soar with the eagles when you are surrounded by turkeys“ is something the (E) might say. So he fires easily. New people start on a pedestal and end in the sewer. Those left to serve just clap and listen.

Entrepreneurial spirit and people that have it, are indispensable for growth, for innovation, for having a healthy organization but if one does not know how to manage them, they can become a liability rather than an asset.

To know how to manage an (E) boss or subordinate or a peer, read: Ichak K. Adizes: Leading the Leaders

Just thinking,

Dr. Ichak Kalderon Adizes
Founder and CEO, Adizes Institute Worldwide