Through working on EZ Cork, I think we have both learned a lot in terms of how to take initiative with projects, how to see things through, and more generally the basic characteristics of leadership. The concept of management from the perspective of our own venture is very different than what we have experienced previously, and certainly different from what I expected. Since we ourselves are the “management”, our decisions and development process are much more fluid by nature, rather than following the by the book way of doing things. I think that captures the main difference between corporate and entrepreneurial leadership- since it is a novel venture, the so-called “by the book” method is yet to be established. Our own specific styles, however, do at times differ slightly since there are so many possible paths for us to take with our company. We work through our differences by trying to find a balance between a structured, task oriented approach, and a more laid back, goal oriented approach.
The leadership aspect has been unique in the sense that because it is only the two of us currently, we have learned not so much how to lead others, but instead how to lead ourselves. The flexibility in our venture has made it possible for us to focus on the creativity that sparked our idea in the first place, and to not be weighed down by excessive oversight. As we begin to understand ourselves as entrepreneurs, we have been able to grow our passion for innovative thinking, which allows us to easily change our focus in the pursuit of the evolution of our product. One example is our consumer research projects, which we have undertaken in order to understand and to prove what the consumer really wants. For the most part, we have gotten overwhelmingly positive feedback on our concept, but what we really want to know are the potential problems that could be associated with it. In order to take EZ Cork to the next level, we have to be able to address those kinds of concerns and improve on our existing concept, which sometimes means that we will be forced to change our original agenda. That is why the flexibility we have currently is so valuable to us, and we have come to appreciate the uniquely entrepreneurial way of doing things.