We all know about leadership. There are over 70,000 books in print on the subject (a good number of which are on my shelf) and I have no idea how many blogs, newsletters, workshops, coaching programs, etc. there are but I know it’s a lot! Obviously it’s a topic of concern.
Leadership is generally defined as the ability to get others to follow you. When I talk about “entrepreneurial leadership”, though, this is NOT the kind of leadership I’m referring to. Political and managerial leaders need to focus on getting others to follow them. The entrepreneurial leader needs to first lead themselves.
Before I go any further, WHO is an entrepreneurial leader (EL)? EL’s can be anyone really. When we say “entrepreneur” we think of the “maverick” who is constantly coming up with a new way to make money. It seems as if every week they have a new scheme in mind. As already stated, “leader” implies the ability to get people to follow. When we combine the two we come up with a very special definition, one that is fitting the true entrepreneurial leader.
From the entrepreneur we gain insight into the mind of this type of leader: creative, independent, determined, flexible, accountable, curious, strategic, visionary, motivated, never satisfied, risk-able (able to take a risk), passionate, seeking and learning, and did I say……. determined?
From the traditional leader we learn the need to communicate, empower, be a role-model, motivate and engage others, be organized, transfer vision into action, focus and more.
The entrepreneurial leader is all of that and more. The EL understands themselves-their strengths, gifts and talents as well as where they’re not to strong (I really don’t like focusing on weakness. I believe that the awareness of both strength and what is not so strong is far more important and useful.), is able to create personal and professional vision, knows what matters AND the importance of tapping into what matters in order to motivate themselves and others, is able to create and implement a strategy that aligns action with vision, is the ultimate decision-maker AND can get others to believe as well.
We find EL’s as students, parents, employees, executives, managers, people in career transition, non-profit directors, political leaders, and yes, self-employed of all types: inventors, franchisees, consultants, restauranteurs, shop owners, etc.
Are you an EL? Are you FULLY accountable to your success and to the success of others around you? Accountability breeds determination and from there, the rest can be learned. Entrepreneurial leadership begins from within and never ends. BECOMING an EL is an intentional, evolutionary process. The journey begins with an awareness (I often call this a “knowing”) and is quickly followed by a determination to be accountable to self-growth, to the growth of your organization; be it family, university, non-profit, corporation or your own small business, and to the growth of others that are both directly and indirectly involved with you. Eventually, it will transition into true, motivational leadership where you are passionately communicating your message to others and motivating them into action for a purpose that you inspire.
Entrepreneurial Leaders are special! We have a special way of thinking, believing and being. If you don’t think you’re an EL, I encourage you to learn more. If you’re a business owner, at any level, I URGE you to explore this concept. Owning a business does not make you an entrepreneurial leader. Taking full accountability for leading your business with alignment of creativity, passion, determination, curiosity, vision, strategy and more, makes you a true leader and will, ultimately, accelerate the success of your business!
To YOUR success!
Peg Stookey, founder of The Legacy Center & Evolving Entrepreneurial Leader!