At a time when traditional businesses are being challenged by tough economic conditions, it is the entrepreneurial leaders who are leading the way towards recovery. So what can we learn from the behaviours we have observed of successful entrepreneurial leaders? Compare and contrast the following list of traits to see whether you are an entrepreneurial leader.
Are You Proactive Or Reactive To New Opportunities?
Entrepreneurial leaders proactively identify potentially new opportunities to gain advantage over their competitors through the use of creativity, innovation and market understanding. This means they encourage those who work for them to challenge the current ways of doing things and to always be thinking differently. All new ideas are welcome and often the crazier the better! They analyse trends in the market and look to predict what consumers and organisations might want or need in the future. They then take responsibility for giving this to customers. Traditional managers wait to see whether the new ideas work and only then following the trend.
Do You Manage Risk Or Minimise Risk When You See New Opportunities?
It is recognised that entrepreneurs and therefore entrepreneurial leaders are more likely to take risks than their counterparts with traditional corporate mindsets. Rather than minimise risk by shying away from potentially risky opportunities they are more likely to embrace and manage the risk.
First of all they are prepared to take responsibility for the potential failure of their proposals. They mitigate the risk by quickly looking at all the potential scenarios and having a plan for handling them. Entrepreneurial leaders create an atmosphere where making mistakes is an accepted as part of everyday life provided we learn from them. Very few people set out to make a mistake and will want to put it right. When you read the autobiographies of entrepreneurs, you see that they have made mistakes along the way because of the risks they have taken. What makes them different is that they were prepared take that risk. Learning by trial and error may take time but because they act quickly and before others they often still have time to put things right before others catch on and try to take advantage.
Do You Get Things Done Through Inspiration Or By Telling People What To Do?
By sharing their vision for the future and empowering their people to achieve this vision they lead through inspiration. They may not tell people exactly how it will be achieved. Instead they tap into the power of the brains around them by showing the approach they are taking to a situation.
Do You Cope Well With Ambiguity & Change By Learning Fast?
Instead of being overwhelmed in this type of environment entrepreneurial leaders thrive and enjoy the challenge. They are able to provide clarity and coherence for those around them setting a course through choppy waters. They are also prepared to push people to the edge of their capabilities whilst not exceeding them.
So how do you shape up? What behaviours can you adopt and emulate from these exciting leaders? How can you inspire and empower your people to grab opportunities by being different and getting ahead of your competitors? Are you prepared to go out and find out more about how entrepreneurial leaders think and challenge your own way of thinking. As one quote said, ‘The truth is out there!’ You only have to look.
Head of Training
Originally published: 25 February, 2013