And if they are, can they ever make a successful CEO?
If you've ever started a company, you might have a disorder.
That's the thesis of the Inc. 500|5000 debate between Jay Goltz, CEO of the Goltz Group and author of The Street Smart Entrepreneur, and Phil Patrick, founder of PharmaStrat, a boutique strategy consulting and market research services firm.
The panel's title, Are Entrepreneurs Too Crazy to Make Good CEOs, is really a question in two parts. One: Are entrepreneurs crazy? The second part (because, well, let's face it, everyone who's extraordinarily passionate is at least a little insane): Are they too crazy to be highly effective leaders?
A panel of judges pondered three rounds of questioning structured around three potential disorders allegedly plaguing entrepreneurs everywhere:
1. HypoMania Literally "below mania," it is a persistent elevated mood characterized by a decreased need for sleep, and extremely outgoing personality, competitiveness, and a great deal of energy. However, unlike full "mania," hypomaniacs are fully functioning and are actually more productive than others. —Adapted from Websters
2. Delusions of Grandeur A delusion in which one believes oneself possessed of great importance, power, wealth, intellect, or ability. —American Heritage Medical Dictionary
3. Narcissism A consuming self-absorption or self-love; a type of egotism. Narcissists constantly assess their appearance, desires, feelings, and abilities. —American Heritage Culture Dictionary
While Goltz and Patrick duke this one out, let's let our readers—amongst whom are a lot of successful entrepreneurs and CEOs—have a say: Are you a little crazy?