Traits of Entrepreneurial Leadership-Focus

This will be the fourth and final post about the traits of Entrepreneurial Leadership.  In my previous posts I have spoken about Perseverance, Independence and Confidence as other traits of Entrepreneurial Leadership.  Before I speak in more detail about Focus as it relates to this model, let’s take a look at the most basic definitions of Focus.

Focus can be both a noun and a verb.  The noun Focus is “a central point, as of attraction, attention or activity” while the verb Focus is to bring to a focus or into focus” or “to concentrate.”  Knowing these basic definitions will make the rest of this make much more sense.

Entrepreneurs are people who have a new enterprise, idea or venture and they are accountable for the inherent risks of a product or service.  According to Wikipedia, Entrepreneurs possess innate traits such as extroversion and a propensity for risk taking.  Entrepreneurs act as a catalyst for economic change and research indicates that entrepreneurs are highly creative individuals who imagine new solutions by generating opportunities for profit or reward.

Knowing this definition helps me explain the value of focus.  When an individual is directing his or her efforts to economic gain or improvement it is essential that he or she has the ability to “shut out” the unnecessary issues that encircle and infiltrate their life and to work with and “focus” upon only those things that matter right now. Lou Holtz, an ESPN football commentator and football coach of some notoriety had an acronym called WIN-What’s Important Now. Entrepreneurs also have to use the WIN principle in their lives and in their work so that they can do what is important and urgent and ignore or disregard what is less important and less urgent.  In the book “First Things First” there is a grid such as the one below:

Entrepreneurs spent their time in Quadrant 1 where issues are both “urgent” and “important” while many of us spend time in quadrants 2, 3, and 4 due to many factors that interfere with what is most important.

Entrepreneurial Leadership requires the leader to “focus” on what is Urgent and Important based on the context at hand and the demands of the situation, both internal and external.

Not everyone is an Entrepreneurial Leader and being one today does not require or justify being one at another time.  Just like in many types of leadership, the context or situation dictates what is required from the leader.

Confidence, Independence, Perseverance and Focus.  These are the four traits of Entrepreneurial Leadership.  In my next series of posts I will show examples of when the Entrepreneurial Leader can and should step forward.  I hope you will come back and join us.