Big 5 Personality Traits for Startup Founders

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The so-called Big 5 is one of the most commonly used groups of personality traits in modern … [+] Psychology. Here’s how the Big 5 personality traits help or hinder startup founders.

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The Big 5 are one of the most commonly used groups of personality traits in modern psychology. This was achieved using statistical factor analysis on personality survey data, which reveals semantic associations between the words people use to describe other people’s personalities.

In other words, when people talk about another person’s personality, all the different words they use can be grouped into five categories, each with a spectrum of common temperament traits, or Represents continuity.

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Since being successful as a startup founder is a very challenging endeavor, it is important that you become familiar with your own character and understand how to control your strengths and combat your weaknesses.

So, here’s how the Big 5 personality traits help or hinder startup founders:

1. Conscientiousness

Tendency to be organized and dependable. At one end of the scale are highly organized and efficient people, on the other – carefree and easygoing people.

The two widely accepted aspects of the conscientious trait are diligence and orderliness.

As is the case with most non-artistic business environments, a high level of conscientiousness is critical to long-term success as a startup founder. Unconscious founders give up on projects because their enthusiasm levels plummet or plunge into chaos if they aren’t organized enough to tackle their to-do list efficiently enough.

If you are not conscientious, it may be a good idea to find a co-founder or partner. That way you can rely on them when your intrinsic motivation isn’t enough.

While a lack of orderliness can be compensated for by external factors, it is harder to do so for low-level hard work. Being a successful founder requires an action-focused, can-do attitude. If you are not a problem solver by nature, you will need to work actively to achieve this specialty, or you will find the day-to-day life of a founder challenging.

2. Consent

An agreeable person is kind and polite, while a disagreeable person is more comfortable with interpersonal conflict.

In fact, a good startup team needs people at both ends of the spectrum.

That said, being an innovator by definition means you are doing something that other people are not doing. As a result, many people will tell you that what you want to do cannot or should not be done. Therefore, it’s important not to care too much about people’s general opinion (while listening carefully to rational feedback, of course).

Furthermore, as the team leader, you will often have difficult conversations with your team members about salary, performance, and even belonging to the team. If you are a very kind person, such situations can be emotionally exhausting.

3. Openness

Openness is a degree of intellectual curiosity, creativity, and most importantly – a preference for novelty.

Needless to say, being a startup founder requires a high degree of openness. It is important to be comfortable with innovation, because if you want to be an innovator then innovation will be your daily life.

If you are very cautious by nature and need regularity and consistency to feel good, you will probably lack the risk tolerance that will help you deal with the highly volatile nature of startups.

4. neuroticism

Highly neurotic people are more vulnerable to nervousness and anxiety.

Needless to say, startups are often highly uncertain professional environments, which can naturally lead to high levels of stress for the more neurotic.

This doesn’t mean that being neurotic makes you ineligible to be a founder. It can also help in some situations – it can lead you to take care of risk factors that other people will ignore.

That said, it can mean that if you are neurotic by nature, everything you consider to be a founder can be an emotionally unpleasant experience. It can reduce your overall quality of life. You need to decide whether handling the stress level is worth it.

5. Extraversion

Extroversion is the tendency to seek the company of others.

Being highly extroverted helps a lot in one area – constantly being in touch with your customers, partners and other stakeholders. Obviously, the higher extravagance means you’ll feel more comfortable selling your ideas and products to hundreds of people – something you’ll have to do as a founder.

Also, this doesn’t mean that introverts are hopeless founders. Some of the best tech innovators (interested in things rather than people) are introverts. For example, Bill Gates is a self-proclaimed introvert.

That said, measuring extra low on the scale means you have to step out of your comfort zone on a daily basis.

For good or bad, people-centered activities like sales and people management are an inseparable part of being a founder.

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