To undertake, it is not enough to have a good business idea, it is essential to be able to carry it out and know how to transmit that vision to the work team. An entrepreneurial leader surrounds himself with talented professionals who can help him make his project a reality and takes the reins of it effectively to ensure that he succeeds .
What is entrepreneurial leadership?
Entrepreneurial leadership is the ability to direct other people and positively influence their behavior by creating an ideal work environment that facilitates the achievement of business objectives. It also implies the ability to innovate at a business level and adapt quickly to complex and changing environments, so that the business is strengthened.
The main characteristics of the entrepreneurial leader
Ability to define clear objectives
A good leader must have clear ideas for the future. He must be able to set measurable, realistic and achievable objectives that set the course for the company . In that sense, Henry Ford is an excellent example of an entrepreneurial leader.
In 1914, when demand for his cars decreased and employee turnover increased, he made a counterintuitive decision that ended up saving the company: he doubled his employees’ pay. As a result, productivity almost doubled and the demand for Ford cars grew because their own workers could buy them. Ford was clear about his goals and devised a strategy to achieve them.
Entrepreneurial leaders are characterized by their excellent communication skills, which allow them to convey their vision to the team and explain the path to achieve it . They are people who have a clear, direct and convincing communication style, but who also keep the channels of dialogue open by being receptive to all kinds of comments and opinions.
David Abney, former CEO of UPS, is an example of an entrepreneurial leader who knows how to listen. When he took over the helm of the world’s largest package delivery company in 2014, he toured every location to listen to the needs and ideas of his employees and customers. He stated that part of his success is because he is always willing to listen.
Good leaders are assertive. They not only practice active listening, but also assume a conciliatory, kind and empathic attitude that allows them to put themselves in the place of others . They are charismatic and inspiring people who show a genuine interest in the problems of their workers and strive to solve them, thus generating a great sense of belonging and commitment to the organization.
Another example of an entrepreneurial leader concerned about his people was Walt Disney, who once said: “ You can dream, create, design and build the most wonderful place in the world… but you need people to make that dream come true ”. Disney was aware that staff satisfaction was key to customer satisfaction, which was essential to its business model.
Ability to solve problems
Problem-solving skills are critical to running a business. An enterprising leader must face difficulties and obstacles without losing his temper, resorting to reflection and rationality . He must look for creative and strategic solutions that allow him to move forward with his project and learn from mistakes.
Glenn Kelman, founder of Redfin, faced a very hostile environment when he wanted to change the rules of the game in the real estate market. Far from being intimidated, he responded to the attacks from the big companies in the sector with a blog in which he advocated transparency. His strategy paid off and since then his business has grown dramatically.
Broad vision of the future
Entrepreneurial leadership demands visionaries, people capable of detecting emerging trends and driving new currents . That kind of entrepreneurial leadership stays ahead of the curve and continuously tries to innovate, driven by insatiable curiosity and creativity, but without losing sight of market signals.
Elon Musk is a good example of a visionary entrepreneurial leader. At the age of 28, he founded X.com, the digital financial services company that would give birth to PayPal, and has continued to promote technological projects that will change the world, such as SpaceX, a company dedicated to developing and producing space shuttles, Starlink, focused on creating a constellation of Internet satellites to provide global coverage at low cost, and the flagship Tesla Motors.