Just One Thing: Are You a Grower or a Tender?

Take This 10-Question Quiz and Find Out 

If you want your business to run smoothly, manage it well. Tend to the details. Think in terms of people, protocols, and production.

If you want your business to grow, forget about all that. Put someone in charge of it who is capable of creating growth.

Growers are rare birds. It’s quite possible that – other than you – your business doesn’t have a single grower in its employ.

Or maybe it has one or two, but they are not being given the liberty they need to do what only they can do. In that case, their superpowers are negated.

It’s also possible that you are not a grower – that once you were but now you are a tender.

Here’s a quick test to find out. Take it yourself, give it to someone else, or take it on behalf of someone you supervise.

Management Personality Test: 10 Questions Based on the Common Impulses and Characteristics of Growers 

  1. What do you care more about – quantity or quality? Would you rather have a bakery known for being the best in the city… or a factory selling more baked goods than anyone else in the state?
  2. What do you typically think about at work? How to solve problems… or how to boost sales?
  3. Do you welcome new marketing and sales ideas? Do you see them as exciting opportunities… or as extra work that will just screw thing up and slow things down?
  4. Would you describe your management personality as understanding or impatient?
  5. On a scale of 1 to 10, how competitive are you?
  6. Are you fair about the expectations you have of your fellow employees and subordinates? Do you demonstrate that fairness… or do you frequently indicate that you’d like things done faster?
  7. Do you care about other people’s workloads or problems? Or do you care only about getting your own agenda done ASAP?
  8. When someone suggests a new product, protocol, or plan to increase sales, do you endorse it immediately… even though you are not sure it will work?
  9. Do you understand the need for bureaucracy? Or do you have zero patience for it?
  10. With respect to your career, what’s more important: being admired for your character… or venerated for your success?
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venerate (verb) 

To venerate (VEN-uh-rate) is to revere; to regard with great respect. As I used it today: “With respect to your career, what’s more important: being admired for your character… or venerated for your success?

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If you like visiting art museums, you should know about Google Arts & Culture, a surprisingly little-known website that, among other things, offers digital tours of many of the greatest art museums of the world.

Several years ago, K and I spent some time in Holland – and one of the highlights for me was looking at the masterpieces at the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam. It was an immensely enjoyable and edifying afternoon.

Imagine seeing the major works of Rembrandt, Vermeer, Hieronymus Bosch, Pieter Bruegel, Frans Hals. Not to mention the modernists: Vincent van Gogh, Karel Appel, Willem de Kooning, and Piet Mondrian.

You don’t have to travel to Amsterdam to visit the Rijksmuseum. Nor do you have to travel to Madrid to visit the Prado. Or to NYC to visit the Met.

When you are in the mood, go to Google Arts & Culture.

For the link to the Rijksmuseum, click here.


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“Uber Is Going to Zero and Their VC Backers Know It” 

In a previous post, I wrote about the possible demise of Uber. In this essay on Medium.com, Matt Ward presents a similar view, comparing the deep “moat” AirBnB has against its competition with the shallow “puddle” that surrounds Uber.

The important lesson here is the idea I mentioned in my essay: User-built networks – like AirBnB –  get more valuable (and less vulnerable to competition) as they grow because they provide customers with more of what they want: reach. But company-built networks like Uber have no advantage over upstarts because, as Ward points out, they are essentially in a marketplace of local commerce catering to customers that have no loyalty.


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An email from MN:

 Dear Mark,

 I’m writing today to thank you again for your continuing and far-reaching impact on my life. Your guidance has proven invaluable time and again in more ways than I ever could have imagined….

 Running a business is perhaps old hat to you, but not all of it has come naturally to me…. The principles you laid out in Ready, Fire, Aim [LINKTO BOOK] helped me get started doing things that scared me before I felt ready – which is a good thing because I started two and a half years ago and I still don’t feel ready! And thanks to your advice in Seven Years to Seven Figures, [LINK TO BOOK] I’m looking at launching a totally different product to create another source of income for myself.

Even though I’m not quite at $100 million, or really even in the ballpark yet, there is no question that I am much further along thanks to you…. And for that I will be forever grateful…. But more than anything, I just wanted to say thank you for doing more for me than you probably realized to help me follow slowly but surely in your footsteps. 


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