What does it take to be an entrepreneur? An entrepreneurial spirit doesn’t start with an opportunity, capital, or business acumen. It begins with a mindset.
Entrepreneur Michael Gerber said “The entrepreneur in us sees opportunities everywhere we look, but many people see only problems everywhere they look. The entrepreneur in us is more concerned with discriminating between opportunities than he or she is with failing to see the opportunities.”
What does it take to exhibit entrepreneurial leadership? Start with these ten tips to bring an entrepreneurial spirit to your professional life and your team. Learn to see the opportunities all around you.
Communicate, Communicate, Communicate
Tell your team what your goals are. Share your challenges. Communicate your vision for the team and the organization. Share your reasoning behind decisions. Entrepreneurs don’t keep secrets from the team. Instead they often over communicate. They know that open conversation reduces fear and builds creativity.
Entrepreneurs are successful because they challenge the assumptions all around them. They even challenge their own assumptions and try to find new and innovate ways of solving problems.
Be yourself. Don’t try to fill an image created by your title or position. Entrepreneurs are just regular people who are trying to create business success. When you embrace this attitude you step away from traditional behavior and use your instincts and experience to earn success.
Believe in Your Team
In a start-up or small business members of the team fill multiple roles. The leader must rely on each person to carry their weight and deliver their best performance. An entrepreneur believes in the ability and value of each person on the team and counts on them to make a difference.
How well do you know the people on your team? Do you know them by their role in your organization and their abilities or do you know them as individuals? An entrepreneur respects the individuality of each person on their team. Make it your business to know your team and respect their individuality.
Understand the Obstacles
Are you an optimist who believes no problem is too big for your team to solve? Are you a pessimist who believes every day is full of challenges and it’s only luck and hard work that will get you through? A true entrepreneur is more of a realist who understands the obstacles and challenges a team faces and knows how to match the team with tools that help them leverage their strengths.
Share the credit freely. When someone does a great job, make sure they are recognized and praised. When the team does a great job together, give them all the credit and downplay your role. Entrepreneurs are free with praise and understand its power to motivate and inspire.
Spread the credit around through the team, but keep the responsibility and blame on your own shoulders. As the leader of the team, you are ultimately in charge. If someone on your team fails, it is your failure too. This is the attitude of an entrepreneur.
Entrepreneurs seldom play it safe. They know that with risk comes reward. If you want to bring an entrepreneurial spirit to your professional life, you must be willing to take chances on unconventional ideas, processes, or solutions. Be willing to bet on yourself and your team.
Entrepreneurs are passionate people who take risks. It’s a flammable combination. Successful entrepreneurs know how important it is to control their emotions and stay calm in the face of perceived disaster. How well do you control your emotions when the tensions get high? Are you calm and controlled or volatile?
Work Hard, Play Harder
Starting and building a business is hard work. It requires long hours and dedication. Entrepreneurs ask a lot of themselves and of their teams. How do they do it? They may work hard but they often play harder! Build a habit of hard play on your team. Look for opportunities to laugh together, play together, and blow off steam in fun ways.