The Ambitious Entrepreneur Case

The Ambitious Entrepreneur Case

21 January 2021
Veerle Seymus
Veerle Seymus
  • My mentor has helped me see the problems and challenges that I have always felt intuitively in a more objective way, which was a big step forward.

    Mentee P.A.
  • This mentoring case is about an ambitious entrepreneur/owner of a restaurant chain with more than 130 employees.

    A full-blown passionate entrepreneur who loves his business and who shoots for the moon; his long-term goal is clear; he puts the bar high.

  • My mentor has woken me up, he has confirmed a lot of things that I always felt.

    Mentee P.A.
  • His main challenge is that he succumbs to the operational execution and all the negative things this brings, thereby draining his energy. This way, he loses focus on the long-term goal and gets stuck in day-to-day micromanagement. He is not an operational manager but a high-level conceptual and visionary thinker who is too often forced to deal with things far out of his comfort zone. Consequently, he has the feeling that he is not in control anymore.

    He wants to grow and achieve his ambitions and connect with positive energy sources again. He desires to fully empower his team to provide the best of themselves and take full ownership but does not know how to do this in practice. Moreover, he wants to ensure that the daily operations are followed-up by the right person in the right way.

  • Thanks to my mentor, I know much better what kind of person I need as my right hand to focus again on the tasks that really give me positive energy.

    Mentee P.A.
  • Ambits mentor Eric Noterman entered the scene and got some things done.

    Eric used the following management tactics with fast results:

    • Define your ambition and communicate this as goals
    • Listen to your key people
    • List the issues and prioritize
    • Set deadlines
    • Make people accountable
      • Define the responsibilities
      • Indicate owners
      • Use fact & figures
      • Stop with the stories and the feelings
      • Evaluate regularly and systematically
  • Eric's energy had a positive impact on me as well.

    Mentee P.A.

Struggles of a manager

Managers are

  • not or inadequately trained in this role


    • lack self-confidence
    • don’t know how to go from being a colleague to being a boss
    • need to loosen up on the command & control leadership style
    • must let go of the (technical) expert status
    • cannot give or accept constructive feedback
    • feel pressure to perform as manager
    • have difficulty building relationships
    • want to be liked by everyone or want to be the ‘bad boss’
    • play the hero
  • are struggling


    • stay too involved in operations
    • have trouble prioritizing
    • cannot delegate
    • fear conflict situations
    • disconnect from the team
    • deal with flawed strategic thinking
    • do not relate to higher management
    • lack clear communication skills
    • remain not self-aware
    • avoid difficult conversations
    • miss political antennas
    • ...
  • capable of more


    • need mental preparation as successor
    • need to be able to lead big changes ahead
    • need to learn to be emotionally resilient and in control
    • need to learn to make big decisions fast without all the information
    • must become persuasive presenters
    • need to learn how to cultivate their own personal brand
    • need to learn how to lead by example
    • manage by trust, not by fear
    • need to overly develop empathy
    • ...
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