Being an Entrepreneurial Leader

Why Being an Entrepreneurial Leader Rocks

By Janet Kendall White

Entrepreneurial thinking is not just for entrepreneurs or for those who own businesses. If you work as an employee in an organization of any size, you might wonder why you would want to be an entrepreneurial leader.

Here are just a few of the reasons:

  • It allows you to fully leverage the value and creative potential of employees
  • You accomplish more, adding more value to the organization
  • Your example will develop the ability of your employees to self-reflect and self-correct
  • It feels good


What is it?

“Entrepreneurial leadership is a mindset that focuses organizations on turning problems into opportunities that create economic and social value,” says Babson College President Stephen Spinelli Jr.

Roebuck (2004), defines entrepreneurial leadership as “organizing a group of people to achieve a common goal using proactive entrepreneurial behavior by optimizing riskinnovating to take advantage of opportunities, taking personal responsibility and managing change within a dynamic environment for the benefit of [an] organization

So, if it is so great to be an entrepreneurial leader, how do you do it?

Most of it stems from our mindset, which is the foundation, though it does not end there.

Developing a growth mindset versus fixed (see Growth Mindset by Carol Dweck), having an internal locus of control versus external, learning to own and often extend the gap between stimulus and response are good places to start.

Once that foundation of the right mindset is built then we move to the skills needed, all of which can be developed by any leader. One skill is learning to recognize opportunities, they are all around us regardless of where we are or what type of organization, we are in. Seeing problems as opportunities and teaching those that we lead through our words and our actions how to think that way and how to identify them is another important skill. Once you recognize the opportunity, knowing how to collaborate with others to develop solutions and/or influence others regarding your solution becomes a necessary skill.

Next, how is your network or community within your organization? Have you developed the credibility and respect with those you lead and those around you to execute on ideas, to accomplish the objectives that you have set before you? That requires the people skills to network, develop relationships, deal with conflict in a productive way. Once again, all skills that we as leaders can learn.

One of the things that stymies some of us if we have the right mindset and we have the skills is actually putting it all together and taking the appropriate action. Appropriate being a key word and sticking with the action even when we hit obstacles. Over and over again when we listen to different types of success stories, we will hear how persistence played a key role. Having the will or grit to persist when things get a little tough in some way.

Are you an entrepreneurial leader? We always have improvements we can make in our leadership even if we possess all the right mindset and skillset. Feel free to reach out to discuss or learn more

Also see leadership development tools here: