What is Entrepreneurial Leadership?

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If you are feeling continually frustrated by the range of excuses that come your way, from employees, partners or other role players in your business for non performance, ranging from vague "generation Y" suggestions to “we didn't understand what you wanted”, please be assured that you are not alone. Entrepreneurial leadership, in my opinion, is largely a matter of continuing to believe in the good intentions and abilities of others, and leading them, despite significant and ongoing evidence to the contrary.

The good news is that if this is how you have been feeling as a leader in your business you are not alone and, no, you haven’t lost the plot completely by arriving at this conclusion.

 
Being at the front of any organization, regardless of size, places us in a position where we are directly influenced by the actions and abilities of those standing behind us on a consistent basis. This dynamic renders us incredibly vulnerable whilst still ultimately responsible. This is not a comfortable place for most and it’s where most entrepreneurs find themselves on an ongoing basis.
 
Having become an entrepreneur many of us would admit that we conduct ourselves very differently in this space as to how we might have conducted ourselves as an employee. This is because by striking out on our own, we have accepted the ultimate form of responsibility. Whatever comes back at us is a direct result of the path and people we have chosen and we are going to see the  results of our choices. This is a big step for most of us and the next biggest challenge is choosing and nurturing people who will share that responsibility, but who have not taken the same step in accepting it as their own. It is this nurturing which relates very strongly to entrepreneurial leadership and requires us to engage on a much deeper level with our employees, as well as to make a shift from the way we perceive  a situation to understanding their perceptions.

We need to consider that what we may interpret, often through frustration as ignorance, educational differences or downright lack of common sense by role players in our business, is most often just a symptom of a varying level of setting priorities.
 
A very simple but effective form of leadership is to connect employee goals , which we have taken the time to learn and understand, directly to our company goals, so that everyone pulls willingly in the same direction, whilst still focusing on different things.
 
This alignment should also signal a shift  in our employees thinking, that we need to instigate, from “my mistake = your problem” to “my mistake =my problem”.

This approach might seem obvious but the suggestion is seldom instituted or given much attention. One way to do this is to structure remuneration around performance and not attendance, which is a traditional method that directly encourages the wrong focus from the start of employment for most. Incentive based structures do take more time to set up and administrate. Such structures might also require some transparency but this can be easily controlled and such structures can save a fortune in time and money to the entrepreneur in the long term.
 
All the EnQ tools are designed around installing the necessary foundations to ensure that a business runs profitably with no more than 30% of the entrepreneur’s time needed (assuming you are not a sole operator). Aligning people correctly within our business is crucial to this outcome and this goes way beyond finding people with the right qualifications and experience. Although it is an important aspect initially, qualifications and experience play only a small part in the way in which an employee conducts himself, makes his choices and in which direction he pulls.These three areas are significantly influenced by the entrepreneur’s ability to unite a diverse focus and vision base and to demonstrate strong entrepreneurial leadership on a consistent basis. This ability can be greatly enhanced with the EnQ “Vision model” tool.



Sandy Geyer

www.enqpractice.com

 


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Educational Publisher, Author, Specialist sales trainer and business coach

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