Every entrepreneur should possess leadership qualities for them to succeed in their endeavors. In this article, the key relationship of leadership and entrepreneurship are highlighted to give you a better understanding of the relevance of these two concepts.
Leadership is the process by which an individual can influence other people for the benefit of the organization as a whole, as well as for each member. They can make this happen because they possess invaluable attributes such as strength of character, willpower, beliefs, skills, and knowledge. It is important for everyone to understand that leaders are made and are not born with such qualities. This means that anyone can develop these and become a great leader if only one is determined to do so.
In a book written by Lee Bolman and Terrence Deal entitled, Reframing Organizations, a person with leadership qualities apply these behaviors in four frameworks: human resource, political, structural, and symbolic.
• Human resource framework. A leader must be both a leader and a follower, and knows when exactly to be one or the other in a given situation. In human resource, a leader believes in the skills, talents, and abilities of the people and makes this known to everyone. These leaders empower each person in the organization; support them wholeheartedly, and provide assistance and information to them.
• Political framework. Political leaders are great examples of who the great leaders are and who are not. An ineffective political leader manipulates while an effective one persuades and influences their constituents and even non-allies to promote the greater good.
• Structural framework. These leaders put more focus on strategies and structures, implements acts and deeds to improve the organization and the environment, performing a series of trial and error activities to find solutions as well as to figure out means to adapt to change.
• Symbolic framework. A great leader inspires, and must therefore lead by example. They get other people’s attention in order to influence them positively. They communicate effectively and instill their vision on others.
Leadership Qualities of an Entrepreneur
There are numerous literatures that tell us about the role of management in running a business and how vital it is to possess managerial skills when engaging in any business venture. However, little is said about just how important leadership is for every entrepreneur.
Below are the five leadership qualities that must be evident in entrepreneurship to ensure success.
1. Positive Thinking
In every business endeavor, there will always be ups and downs- such things are inevitable. Entrepreneurial leadership views problems as challenges and do not back down when faced with setbacks, big or small. Entrepreneurs know what they want and they stand by this no matter what.
It would be insufficient to say that great entrepreneurs are risk takers and daredevils. While they may be such, they are more than that. They take risks and dares but they do so with knowledge and preparation on the outcomes. They do not just dive-in but instead, they make calculated risks. Additionally, it is more than just being brave. It is about having the guts to go the extra mile and break limits, and only because they believe that it will make all the difference.
The fire will always burn inside the heart of every entrepreneur. This person has more than enough motivation to keep him going even when surrounded with criticisms and adversities. There are two types of motivation – extrinsic and intrinsic. Extrinsic motivation is derived from the environment in the forms of rewards and punishment, whereas intrinsic motivation is derived from within the person, their desire to achieve. Great entrepreneurs are driven by intrinsic motivation.
4. Goal Orientation
Entrepreneurial leadership is always goal-oriented. This means that the person must always stay focused on the goal and know what it takes to reach it. He sharpens and perfects himself, continuously learning and improving himself because he knows this is important for him to make his dreams come true.
5. Self Esteem
Of course, among the most important leadership qualities of every entrepreneur is a high level of self esteem. It starts with confidence in one’s self; if you do not believe in yourself, nobody else will.
Successful Entrepreneurs with Great Leadership Qualities
As proof of the effectiveness of leadership on entrepreneurs, below are a couple of names of people who became very successful in business because of their leadership qualities.
• Andrew Carnegie – He was a businessman who became wealthy by establishing a steel empire. His leadership influenced many powerful names, including US presidents William McKinley and Theodore Roosevelt. From a poor working-class boy, he rose to build a powerful business through sheer determination, hard work, vision, and influence.
• Walt Disney – As a young boy, he had big dreams and it is those dreams that made possible the establishment of a multi-billion dollar industry that revolves on childhood fantasies in the form of the Walt Disney Company (theme parks, cartoon shows, and Hollywood movies). He stood by his visions even when others criticized him, and he never backed down.