One framework on leadership which was developed by Jim Kouzes and Barry Posner describes how entrepreneurs function as leaders of their businesses. The Leadership Practice inventory includes five behavioral dimensions that are observed among successful entrepreneurial leaders. The five dimensions include:
Challenging the Process
Peter F. Drucker, a great management expert has this to say about entrepreneurs:
“The entrepreneur always searches for change, responds to it, and exploits is as an opportunity. Innovation is the specific instrument of entrepreneurship. (It’s the entrepreneurial) act that endows resources with a new capacity to create wealth.”
Indeed, one of the hallmarks of successful entrepreneurs is being risk takers. They are not content simply to improve on what already exists but identifies alternatives to status quo. They don’t accept the limits defined by business environment but persist in exploring other pursuits and keep on improving their organization. After all, they believe that challenges and setbacks are inevitable when doing business.
Inspiring a Shared Vision
Successful entrepreneurs are visionaries. They are passionate people who are driven to leave a legacy for others. They collaborate with their employees and stakeholders to share that positive outlook by clearly communicating the vision and enlisting their people’s support. The members of the organization know where the business is heading and how to get to the desired direction.
Enabling Others to Act
Successful entrepreneurs build positive relationships. They embrace the truth that they need others to help them achieve their goals. Hence, they create a climate of mutual trust and interdependence among their constituents. They do not micro-manage. Instead they recognize the strengths of their people by empowering them to make wise business decisions while providing resources to ensure achievement of expected results.
Modeling the Way
Successful entrepreneurs are clear about their business values and beliefs, and consistently observe them. They can effectively set the standards which they want their people to learn and follow. Their way of doing business reflects their values. In effect, they build credibility and loyalty among their employees and business partners.
Encouraging the Heart
Successful entrepreneurs know the value of recognizing contributions and celebrating successes of their people. They provide motivational atmosphere where employees are inspired to deliver performance because their efforts are appreciated. Likewise, they give constructive feedback that point out areas for improvement. That way their people learn from their mistakes; take appropriate risks and persist to accomplish something for the organization.
The current business environment is very dynamic and the people that make up for every organization are ever changing and forever learning. The greater challenge is in the hands of an entrepreneur who goes beyond not just being a good leader but also reflects the above-mentioned leadership practices.
Written by: Aurora Pinuela