10 Key Characteristics of Entrepreneurial Leadership

Written by Dave Lavinsky


Even the best entrepreneurial leaders can rarely make a company succeed by themselves.

This is much like the fact that the greatest athlete doesn’t ensure that their team will win if the other players cannot perform.

As such, true entrepreneurial leaders need to be able to identify staffing needs, expertly fill them, and lead the team to success (and documenting your management team and staffing needs is a key component of your business plan).

Entrepreneurial leadership is the process through which a business leader is able to influence employees to achieve the objectives of the organization.


10 Characteristics of Effective Entrepreneurial Leadership

To be an effective leader, entrepreneurial leaders must possess these characteristics:

1. Build Trust

Leaders can build trust in many ways. They can achieve it by working hard, maintaining a constant message, and/or being available to solve employees’ problems among others. By showing employees that they are fully committed to achieving the vision, entrepreneurial leaders build trust and confidence in employees. This in turn yields high employee satisfaction and commitment.

2. Use Effective Communication Skills

Effective communication is equally critical to successful leadership. Vision is an important element of entrepreneurial leadership because if employees are unclear about the company’s vision, and/or receive mixed messages over time, they will be unable to focus all of their efforts on achieving the company’s goals. Conversely, by delineating the company’s clear vision and goals, and reinforcing them over time with the same message, the company’s goals become ingrained in its employees.

3. Seek Self-Improvement

A great leader always seeks to become even better. It is critical that leaders are always learning and evolving. They should never stop trying to improve themselves, their employees, the company’s processes, and develop new strategies.

4. Possess Technical Skills

While the entrepreneurial leader may not need to have the greatest technical skills in their organizations, they need to be savvy enough to lead the team. Additionally, they have to have a clear understanding of how their products work so that they can provide the best guidance for their team.

5. Actively Engage in Decision Making

An entrepreneurial leader must be able to make decisions and direct the organization accordingly. However, it is important for leaders not to micromanage employees by acting too quickly on every decision. Rather, they should focus on making decisions that require major impact or influence.

6. Accept Responsibility for Actions

Even good leaders and companies make mistakes, but great leaders don’t place blame on others. Rather, they take responsibility for the problems, apologize where necessary, and learn from their mistakes.

7. Be a Role Model

The best way to lead by example is to lead by doing. Great leaders can be counted on during times of crisis, and they are willing to roll up their sleeves and help out with the tasks needed to keep things going. They also show humility as they do not walk around as if they’re better than everyone else.

8. Create an Engaged Team

To create an engaged team, entrepreneurial leaders need to encourage innovation and creativity among their employees by allowing them to make decisions without fear of repercussions or failure. Additionally, they can hold creative sessions with their team on new product ideas or initiatives that could be beneficial to the company’s growth.

9. Have a Deep Understanding of Dynamic Markets

It is critical that entrepreneurial leaders have a great understanding of the fast-changing markets, customer base, and business strategy. They are very aware of what they are good at, where the opportunities lie for growth, what challenges are ahead, and how to overcome them.

10. Take Calculated Risk

It is important for entrepreneurial leaders to take calculated risks if they want to have any chance at success. Sometimes you have to be willing to put it all on the line, in order to take a leap of faith and maintain momentum toward the company’s goals. Of course, this should be done in a responsible manner and always with some level of guidance.


In Other Words

By developing and engaging these entrepreneurial leadership skills, business leaders can better influence their employees, foster trust and maximize the company’s potential. When team members work toward common goals using an entrepreneurial approach to achieve business success, it can lead to exponential growth for companies.

The ability to effectively lead is a crucial factor in the success, or lack thereof, in entrepreneurial businesses. By understanding and embodying what it takes to lead effectively, entrepreneurs can maximize their chances of success.


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