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How different DISC Styles can make or break a USD 500 million venture.



Over dinner, one of my friends was sharing with me the challenges he is facing working at the new organization. His role is to help grow the business, but he is facing major obstacles as the ex-owner/CEO style of leadership clashes with its new owners.


In the dynamic landscape of business, clashes between different leadership styles often arise, particularly when self-made multi-millionaires who are Dominance(D)-style sells a majority share of their business to a venture capitalist who has a different style: Conscientious(C)-style.


The journey for self-made entrepreneurs who are D-style to work under C-style can be a rollercoaster ride, especially when conflicting methodologies come into play.


The D-style CEO, characterized by his boldness, risk-taking propensity, and visionary outlook, is now at odds with C-style leaders' more cautious, detail-oriented, and structured approach.


The C-style leaders need data to determine areas to trim and expand to grow the business from USD 500 million to USD 800 million.


For the CEO (D-style), relinquishing control can feel like surrendering a piece of his identity since he built the company from scratch using intuition, adaptability, and quick decisive action. Thus, he finds it difficult to navigate the structured frameworks and meticulous planning that C-style leaders advocate. This clash of ideologies is leading to tension and frustration for all parties involved.


For example, the CEO forbade his management team to submit any projection beyond the first 6 months citing that the scrutiny by the new owner frustrates him. Without any projections, how can the company plan and grow?


In my experience, one of the primary contention stems from the clash between the D-style's aversion to control and the C-style's preference for systematic control over operations.


This fundamental difference in approach creates communication barriers and hinders effective collaboration. The CEO perceives the C-style leaders as overly bureaucratic, slow to adapt, and even micromanaging.


In my journey as an entrepreneur, trainer, and facilitator, I've learned that bridging the gap between D-style and C-style requires a willingness to embrace diversity and a commitment to finding common ground.


The CEO (D-style) needs to recognize the value of implementing systems and processes that enhance organizational efficiency and transparency.


Similarly, C-style leaders must appreciate the entrepreneurial spirit and agility that the CEO brings.


By fostering open dialogue and mutual respect, both parties can leverage their respective strengths to drive innovation and sustainable growth.


In conclusion, the partnership between D-style and C-style presents both challenges and opportunities for growth. By acknowledging, addressing, and embracing the inherent differences in leadership styles, they can cultivate synergistic partnerships that propel the company to greater heights.


I look forward to hearing more from my friend how the story unfolds.


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