Jim Duffy, Head of #GoDo at Entrepreneurial Spark, reflects on the characteristics required to be an effective entrepreneurial leader…
The concept of leadership fascinates me. There’s so much literature available on the subject, but what does being an Entrepreneurial Leader really mean? I see so many people on a regular basis who would say a resounding “no” when asked if they thought they were an Entrepreneurial Leader. However, the truth is that a lot of them are, or at least could be, as so much of what goes into starting your own business is about entrepreneurial leadership. In my opinion there are four main factors to becoming an Entrepreneurial Leader:
When you start your own business you have to design the decisions, and ultimately make them. There are a wide variety of tools available to help you do this once you’ve collated and analysed your data, such as the Business Canvas Model, but the Entrepreneurial Leader has to act fast and get it right first time.
As you grow your business there will be several periods of uncertainty, things you thought would happen won’t, and sometimes things you thought couldn’t happen will. To be a true leader you need to be able to navigate the uncertainties you face and get comfortable with being uncomfortable.
I can’t reiterate the importance of communication in your business journey enough. You need to be able to speak to suppliers, investors, your staff, customers…the list goes on. In between your presentations, networking events and various meetings you also have to manage your personal relationships with family and friends. To balance all of this you have to be brilliant at communication. It can make or break you, trust me I know. If you’re not already? Here’s the best piece of advice you’ll receive – learn to be!
Vision and your dissatisfaction with the status quo
As an Entrepreneurial Leader you have to have vision. You need to think BIG and act small. You must be motivated, agitated, annoyed or at the very least creative in your reasoning for your vision. At the end of the day, it’s why you exist. And that’s what people will buy into. You, your vision and how you execute it. With the right coaching, mentoring and encouragement, we can all become better leaders. Someone who can inspire, someone who others want to follow. It’s a pressure, and a privilege to be an Entrepreneurial Leader. The buck stops with you – but you’re also the one that can shape and grow your business. With the right #GoDo attitude you can make it a success; you just need to work hard.
The above article features in the first edition of The Spark, the new magazine published by Entrepreneurial Spark. It is reproduced here by kind permission of Entrepreneurial Spark, which is the world’s largest free business accelerator for early stage and growing ventures. Learn more at www.entrepreneurial-spark.com/.