Traits of Entrepreneurial Leadership: Confidence, Independence, Perseverance and Focus

Leadership is tough.  No one wants to make the tough decision, but a real leader, an experienced leader, can make the tough call.  Even tougher is the Entrepreneurial Leader.  He or she is not only making the tough call, but they are also typically riding into the wind, uphill, at night, with minimal assistance.  (can you picture that?)  The traits of general leadership differ slightly from entrepreneurial leadership and I will discuss those briefly here today.

Entrepreneurs are typically trying to do something new or better than those before them.  They don’t have directions, or if they do, the directions are wrong or need to be modified.  Being the leader in this kind of venture requires someone with the following characteristics:

  • confidence
  • independence
  • perseverance
  • focus

I am sure I can think of a few others, but these four come to mind first.  Let’s talk a little about each.

The confident leader doesn’t have it all figured out.  in fact, he or she is confident in where they are going, but they may not have all of the routes figured out yet.  Part of this confidence is not only internal, but there is an external component that knows who to trust and when to trust them.  The confident entrepreneur also has probably failed before and has learned a few lessons from scrapes along the way.

Independence is a complement of the confident leader.  Most leaders I know, especially entrepreneurs, have been told more than a few times that they are wrong, crazy or just plain stubborn.  These traits can be a blessing or a curse; it just depends upon when you decide to exhibit them.  The independent leader knows when to break away from the pack.  As the old adage goes, the view never changes unless you are the lead dog.  Quite a picture for my mind.

Perseverance; there  just never is enough to go around.  We live in a world of instant gratification and we want it “now” and easy.  Life just doesn’t work out that way.  The things I most appreciate in my life are those I worked hardest and longest for.  One example is my experience in helping to build a new YMCA.  That was a 6 year journey with many ups and downs.  We had a solid core group who had a clear vision of what we had in mind and we didn’t let anything deter us from the goal we had in mind.  There were many times we could have thrown up our hands and said “no mas” but God was with us and we stayed the course.  That is a trait of an entrepreneurial leader.

Focus is the last trait I will discuss today.  We all know focus when we see it, but having focus is much more difficult.  We live in a world with much clutter and it is easy to let this stuff distract us from the goal in mind.  The number of “time eaters” I deal with is painful, but the best word I know to keep my focus is the word NO.  Knowing how and when to say no is a learned trait for me and one that has proven to be more valuable every day, week and year.  The focused leader knows not only what he or she wants to do or has in mind, but they also know when to say no or avoid traps that will lead to dead ends.

So now you have the four traits of entrepreneurial leadership: Confidence, Independence, Perseverance and Focus.  These trait also play a key role in Symmetrical Leadership.  They are a mighty team and one that can help you and your venture go a long way.