Business Models for the First and the 21st Centuries

Businesses and other organizations can be understood in three different types. Facilitated Networking, Value Added, and Solution Shop business models, and combinations thereof, have existed since before Rome ruled. Modern entrepreneurs will benefit as they think of their endeavors in these ways.  

By Mark D. Harris

Several women at a baby shower share stories about giving birth, providing tips to an expectant mother on how to make delivery easier and less painful. One older woman provides a beautiful baby dress, while another shares the address of a bargain store.

A farmer plants acres of grain. He and his family labor over their fields for months, watering and weeding while the crop comes in. In due time, they harvest an abundance. They keep some grain for their own consumption and sell the rest.

Two colonels pore over a map on a battlefield, discussing how to defeat the enemy dug in on a ridgeline nearby. They are not sure of their opponent’s strength and disposition, but they are losing the initiative and need to act soon.

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Temperaments Model of Personality and Leadership

We all have different temperaments. Knowing our own and others can improve working together and getting important work done. 

Most experts agree that leadership is the single most important factor in the success of any organization. Libraries of books, thousands of coaches, and scores of organizations exist to help people become better leaders. Tomes decry the lack of leadership in all areas of life. An Arab proverb is said to read “Better an army of sheep led by a lion than an army of lions led by a sheep.”

Leadership can be taught, and it can be useful to identify each individual’s natural temperament, understand the strengths and weaknesses of that temperament, and help the leader perfect what is good and improve what is bad. There are dozens of ways to characterize personality, including the Myers-Briggs (introvert-extrovert, thinking-feeling, sensing-intuiting, and judging-perceiving), Types A and B, Animals (bear-monkey-dolphin-owl) and others. One of the most famous is the Temperaments (choleric-sanguine-melancholy-phlegmatic). Each model has strengths and weaknesses, and Temperaments model is commonly used.

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