John Hackston, Head of Thought Leadership at The Myers-Briggs Company

In light of #SmallBusinessAdviceWeek (7-11 September), @TheMyersBriggs Company is encouraging business owners to harness internal entrepreneurship to survive and thrive during this difficult economic period.

Research from The Myers-Briggs Company shows that an individual’s personality type doesn’t determine how successful they may be as an entrepreneur, but those with self-awareness can capitalise on strengths and develop their blind spots whilst navigating these tricky times.

Small Business Advice Week is an annual campaign that aims to help the country's 5.7 million small and medium-sized enterprises thrive. Advice is provided by leading experts and businesses across Britain. With this year finding SMEs in some of the toughest times recent memory, this counsel is more valuable than ever.

Since the UK economy was turned upside down by the COVID-19 crisis, many businesses find themselves needing to bounce back or shift gears. To do so, small businesses must adopt an entrepreneurial spirit, embracing the opportunity to take risks and make bold decisions.

To best channel this entrepreneurship, The Myers-Briggs Company encourages business leaders and their small teams to take action based on their own personalities and focus on their individual areas of strength and weakness.

John Hackston, Head of Thought Leadership at The Myers-Briggs Company, one of the world’s largest business psychology providers, commented:

“There tends to be a perception that certain personality types make people naturally predisposed to succeed as entrepreneurs. However, our research (which looked at entrepreneurs and their Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® (MBTI) personality type) actually found no statistically significant difference between the financial success of entrepreneurs of different type preferences. By capitalising on their own entrepreneurial strengths and recognising their weaknesses, leaders transmit this spirit of innovation throughout their organisation.”

“People of each personality type have strengths that help them be successful entrepreneurs, and features of their personality that might hinder success. If business leaders are aware of these, it gives them a head start emerging from the crisis. There are, of course, some general recommendations which apply to all. Leaders will be best placed to recover from fallout of the pandemic if they:

  • Reward innovation
  • Anticipate future trends
  • Focus on technological innovation

"Our research found that beyond the above, advice needs to be personalised to the individual.”  

“For example, people who have dominant introverted Sensing preferences on the MBTI® are generally detail-conscious and pride themselves on their reliability. But they may be risk-averse, leading them to miss opportunities. It’s important for them to actively attempt new things if they’re to adapt during these times of economic difficulty.

“Conversely, those with dominant introverted Intuition preferences tend to enjoy creativity and problem-solving. They may see themselves as being able to construct an effective vision for their business or their clients. On the other hand, they are more likely than others to see themselves as shy, finding social interactions and networking difficult and getting tired of being around people. Training in this area may be particularly useful to people with these personality types.”

“Furthermore, even within each personality preference, each individual has unique behavioural facets. For example, whilst a leader may have a preference for Extraversion, they could also operate out of preference when it comes to discussing personal problems, which has the potential to confuse colleagues. For those who would like to dig deeper into the individual behind each personality profile, the MBTI® Step II provides a highly personalised profile that is perfect for enhancing personal and business results by providing focused insight to support development planning.”

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