Thursday, 19 December 2013
Why the best entrepreneurs are 'Charlie sticks': Some learning from a simple roof build
We go through life trying to show everyone how indispensable we are. Then something happens to show us that we are not. And, it’s a tough lesson to have to learn. But, as painful as it is, it’s an important life lesson. Because once you have learnt it, everything is different after that point.
Instead of building businesses around you, you start to build them around the central thing you want to change. The job of the charismatic entrepreneur is to build a team around the mission.
This is the real job of the entrepreneur. They have to find the right people. And, then go and get them on board. The future team have to be inspired to leave what they are doing. They have to feel that they are about to do their ‘life’s work’.
The whole success of the mission will depend on who joins the team, and just as crucially, why they are joining it. Because a team built around a strong desire to change something is a hard one to stop.
The best entrepreneurs build teams. They build them around the thing they want to change. And the team knows how to stay true because everyone on the team knows what true is. And ultimately, the best entrepreneurs build teams so strong that the business won’t fall down when they leave.
Indeed, The best entrepreneurs are ‘Charlie Sticks’.
An example from the building industry.
A reciprocal roof is a beautiful and simple self-supporting structure that can be composed of as few as three rafters, and up to any imaginable quantity. Reciprocal roofs require no center support, and they are quick to construct. They are extremely strong. So they are perfect for round buildings and for living roofs too.
To start building a reciprocal roof, you will have to first install a temporary central support that holds the first rafter at the correct height. The first rafter is called ‘The Charlie Stick”.
The ‘Charlie Stick’ supports the entire structure. Each new pole rests on the last for support. Then, once the last pole is in, the ‘Charlie Stick’ can be very gently taken away. Your roof will now bear its own weight.
The ‘Charlie Stick’ did its job.