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ADVENTURES ON THE JOB

How Adept Are You at Adapting?

Do You Think Like an Entrepreneur? You Might Be What Employers Are Looking For

June 23, 1997|MARY CURTIUS | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Several years ago, Illinois-based Wonderlic Personnel Inc. found that the thousands of corporations that had been using the company's short-form intelligence test for more than three decades wanted to gauge more than their employees' brainpower.

"Creativity is what our clients are telling us they need at all levels, from the mail room to the boardroom," said Victor Artese, Wonderlic's vice president for research and development.

Faced with a competitive world market, companies found that it was not enough to have intelligent employees. They needed creative risk-takers, adaptable men and women who embodied the personality traits and managerial skills traditionally associated with entrepreneurs.

So four years ago, Wonderlic developed a test, based on the book "Fingerprint of the Entrepreneur," by Edward Fisika, to measure entrepreneurial abilities. The 100-question test, Artese said, has been administered thousands of times since the company began producing it.

Below, you will find two tests designed by Artese for The Times that are distilled from the longer Entrepreneurial Quotient Questionnaire. The tests measure your willingness to take risks and your adaptability, two traits that Artese said are essential in the would-be entrepreneur--whether that person wants to start his or her own business or pump creativity into a corporation.

The Wonderlic Adaptability Quiz

This test is designed to measure the ease with which you can reach outside your areas of expertise and comfort to adjust to new circumstances, new people and new life experiences.

1. Do you think you are the kind of person who:

a. is easy to get to know and makes friends quickly?

b. reveals yourself gradually to others only after you know them well?

*

2. As an executive, do you think you would have more to offer your company because you are:

a. innovative and an idea person?

b. a practical and down-to-earth person?

*

3. If you were planning on buying a franchise, would you be likely to:

a. discuss your plans with friends and associates?

b. discuss your plans with franchise owners?

*

4. Do you consider yourself to have an:

a. average network of intermixed friends and business acquaintances?

b. above-average network of intermixed friends and business acquaintances?

*

5. When sitting next to a stranger on an airplane or in a waiting room of a doctor's office, are you more likely to:

a. initiate a conversation?

b. have a conversation after it is initiated by the other party?

*

6. Do you feel more comfortable:

a. with new and potentially better ways of doing things?

b. with tried and proven ways of doing things?

*

7. Do you often find yourself focusing more on the future and where you may be heading instead of the present and what you are doing now?

a. No

b. Yes

*

8. If you have been refused financing for a project you believe in, would you:

a. drop the project?

b. seek financing elsewhere?

*

9. When performing a task, do you:

a. usually do it in a proven and accepted way?

b. often look for a new and better way to do it?

*

10. Do you prefer:

a. taking on new challenges?

b. sharpening current skills?

*

Adaptability scoring key

Give yourself 1 point for each of your responses that matches the following: 1-a; 2-a; 3-b; 4-b; 5-a; 6-a; 7-b; 8-b; 9-b; 10-a.

*

Adaptability score interpretation

0-4: Individuals scoring in this range tend to be most comfortable in work situations that make maximum use of their current expertise, knowledge and familiar surroundings. Very few successful entrepreneurs score in this range.

5-7: Individuals scoring in this range are moderately comfortable working outside their current expertise, knowledge and surroundings. However, the majority of successful entrepreneurs score above this range.

8-10: Individuals scoring in this range are likely to be very comfortable working outside their current areas of expertise and comfort to adjust to new or changed circumstances, new people and new life experiences. The majority of successful entrepreneurs score in this range.

Risk Tolerance Quiz

This test measures the degree to which you are willing to accept possible loss in order to achieve possible future gain. Individuals with a high tolerance for risk are more willing to take calculated business risks than those with a low risk tolerance.

1. Are you an individual who:

a. has a reputation for making things happen?

b. has a reputation for being cautious and stable?

*

2. Do you:

a. avoid situations involving risk?

b. feel reasonably comfortable with risk?

*

3. Imagine that you are an executive in a company and had been working on an assignment that was not going smoothly, was six months overdue and, in fact, was stalled to the point that all observable progress was stopped. In your frustration, would you be more likely to:

a. not do anything until you were sure that you had reviewed all of the potential solutions to the problem?

b. do something to alter the situation even though it may be the wrong move?

*

4. On balance, do you consider yourself to be:

a. more of an expediter?

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