An entrepreneur is a professional who discovers opportunities and determines how to leverage those opportunities into greater success for the organization. Entrepreneurs have vision, passion and drive. They see opportunities where others see only risk. They tend to be optimists and believe that they can succeed even when others tell them they cannot. Entrepreneurs develop ideas, sure, but they are also willing to get their hands dirty and do the work necessary to make their vision become a reality.
This spirit of entrepreneurship starts with understanding your colleagues and coworkers. Today’s workers want more than just a paycheck; they want to feel a sense of ownership. A true measure of leadership is to create a culture based on dependability and genuineness and a sense of belonging. Business owners must live the core values of their company’s culture and demonstrate their sincerity by getting really excited about the work they’re doing. Enthusiasm is contagious!
Effective communication is also a hallmark of entrepreneurial spirit. Leaders must be very open and deliberate in their communication. Keeping those they serve “in the loop” about what’s going on within the company and sharing information gives a sense of transparency which creates employee and customer “buy-in.” Knowing what’s going on helps people to feel connected to the company. Successful entrepreneurs strive for over-communication.
Even with the above, entrepreneurial spirit would be nothing without a committed staff. To thrive, people need to feel respected and supported. Great bosses show THEIR commitment to their staff and business by providing needed support, training and resources. They invest in professional development to show their employees that they matter to the overall outcome and growth of the company. It’s important to celebrate and reward exceptional work and acknowledge employee value.
One of the most difficult, yet more important, areas of entrepreneurship is developing and maintaining clear rules. Great owners protect their businesses with clear, ethical guidelines and a zero-tolerance enforcement policy. Ethics matter to employees. It’s easier to be committed to an organization with high ethical standards. And, effective leaders lead by example! For instance, when three of his employees were killed in a robbery, Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz didn’t contact media or his legal team but instead spent the week with the other store employees and the families of those who were killed. His actions spoke volumes about his expectations and ethics.
To be believable and relevant takes a continuous effort. Building a positive culture is an ongoing process that must be adaptable and responsive to changing times. This ideology and spirit is the foundation that transforms mediocrity into something exceptional. Be exceptional!
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