Principles of Building Entrepreneurial Success

The Invisible Sixth Man Principle

Wisdom to Take Away

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  • Experience has shown that successful entrepreneurs cannot and do not accomplish any great entrepreneurial feat alone. They must become proficient at team building and convincing others to work with them building and convincing other to work with them and for them. Entrepreneurs sometimes tend to build a team based solely on the technical skills (e.g., accounting, engineering, marketing) that an individual can bring to the team or on the individual’s credentials. Technical skills and credentials are necessary and important, but there are other factors that are just as important.  

  • Qualities such as teamwork, loyalty, values congruence, and commitment to the company’s vision will often energize the team to become more than the sum of its various parts. This sum is the sixth-man principle in action. Everything else being equal, these intangible qualities are the tiebreakers that determine if a company will become a consistent, dependable, long-term winner.  

Wallace, R. (2000), Soul Food 52 Principles for Black Entrepreneurial Success, New York: Perseus Publishing    

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