Start-up Stereotypes Common in Southeast Asia

published 23 August 2016

Stereotyping and being stereotyped in return is a natural human impulse. We do it at home, in school, at the workplace. It is the way we make sense of the unfamiliar around us even as we have little or no information at all about a person's background and personality.
In the closely-knit environment of small businesses, stereotypes also apply. Yet instead of allowing these prior notions to limit opportunities or bring down morale, entrepreneurs can actually use them to draw out the best qualities of each team member, make others aware of each other's strengths, weaknesses and tendencies, and make the group more cohesive and collaborative.
Here are 4 of the most common stereotypes in startup teams – and how to use them to your advantage.

1. The driver

The driver is the leader of the organization, usually its founder. He knows how the business began and where he wants it to go. He feels the startup is his baby and is protective of it. For him, it is not a 9-5 job – and expects the same level of commitment from everyone in the team.

2. The contrarian

The contrarian has most likely known the driver a long time, even before the startup began. He knows how the driver thinks, having seen his ups and downs. Their longtime association allows him to temper the traits of the driver: when one is exuberant, he brings him back to earth. When one is too optimistic, he offers precious advice on what could possibly go wrong. When the driver is too trusting, the contrarian reminds him to be cautious. This dynamic has likely been the factor for their long-standing partnership.

3. The silent worker

The “serious one.” The silent worker usually comes to work, sits in front of the computer all day and, when it's time to go, goes. Never underestimate him or her, though. The silent worker knows exactly what he is doing and gives precious input to the other players in the team. For the most part, he does not talk, but when he does – listen up. There's bound to be a gem in what he says.

4. The jester

The jester is an extroverted character, gregarious and never runs out of jokes. But don't be fooled by the bubbly exterior: The jester is deadly serious about the business, can speak at great length about any topic pertaining to it, and has a million possibilities in mind.