A friend gave me an article by Rich Karlgaard in Forbes. The point in the article is that some great entrepreneurs are/were jerks and that is true.
But what he also says at some point is that a few of them can act like this and get away with it because they are special; “great” as it were.
I am going to raise a distinction here. I think there is a difference between someone who is trying to drive toward an ideal and is, therefore, very demanding of themselves and their people and someone who is just a jerk.
An entrepreneur is often driven, the question is what they are driven toward. If they are driven for their own needs alone – i.e. I want to be rich, I want to be powerful – then they are likely to suck as people. If they are driven to please the customers and clients then they can use this drive to build a team even if it means they are a tough task master.
Regardless, I have always found it tough to respect any entrepreneur who did not have a desire to take care of his/her people at least as well as he/she sought to take care of their clients, but at least those pushing for results have a cause to improve the universe.
The other type of entrepreneur is simply a bully whining for attention.