Engineering Expertise What Defines an Entrepreneur’s Leadership? By Jennifer Martin | February 9, 2021 Do you consider yourself an entrepreneur? Are you working for someone else and want to learn more about how to be a leader? Cogswell University of Silicon Valley offers a master’s program in entrepreneurship and innovation. With this additional education, you can hone your entrepreneur aspirations and build a foundation of leadership skills. You can finally start that venture you have been planning and lead a team of employees with your passion and drive to create the next big thing. For this journey, you will need leadership skills. However, what defines an entrepreneur’s leadership? What is Leadership? Leaders are good at planning a smart path and motivating co-workers to achieve a common goal. Leaders have strong self-confidence, and this exudes itself throughout the team. When the team believes that a deadline is attainable or an innovative idea can be complete, the team rallies behind the leader to reach their goal. A leader is trustworthy and has integrity. They empower team members to excel and help them along the way. They inspire their co-workers to their potential. Leaders are dependable and expect everyone around them to be dependable as well. Ultimately, a leader is made by their followers; if no one follows, then they are not a leader. What is an Entrepreneur? Entrepreneurs are great leaders. They have the skills to motivate, listen, believe, and even follow. Entrepreneurs lead with passionate, organized, risk-taking, trustworthiness, transparency, consistency, and clarity. They go full speed ahead thru difficult tasks or challenging conversations. Entrepreneurs are committed to the well-being of the team, and this is why they inspire their colleagues to follow. What Defines an Entrepreneur’s Leadership? It takes a lot to become a successful entrepreneur, and that takes leadership. Being an entrepreneur that leads requires tangible things that are apparent like passion, drive, effective communication, active listening, risk taking, and team building. Passion and Drive Leaders that are passionate and have drive create a following. Those follows want to be passionate about the vision as well. People that follow are actively looking for a leader that will show them the path to success. People are also drawn to positive, successful and passionate people. Passion and drive are contagious and everyone in a team will get excited when working with a leader that has passion and drive. Effective Communication An important skill that entrepreneurs that lead possess is the ability to communicate in a way that builds trust, inspires followers, and provides clear direction. Effective communication enables an entrepreneur to actively engage team members in the promotion of a project, vision, mission, or other end goal. This must be done in a clear and concise way, so everyone knows what they are doing and what the end goal is to achieve. When communicating effectively, entrepreneurs that lead listen and ask relevant questions, so they can better understand what their followers want. The entrepreneur is clear and provides concise feedback which enables the entrepreneur to be perceived as empathetic and trustworthy. Entrepreneurs who communicate well are excellent leaders because team members know what is expected of them and continue to get positive feedback that helps them stay motivated. Active Listening An entrepreneur must listen to hear what is going on inside their company, in the industry, and with competitors. Listening to the signals that are being given will help them make better decisions. Only after they have heard where the market is going, what their employees think, and what their competitors are doing can the entrepreneur move forward with a strategic plan to meet their goals and lead their employees. It is also of great importance for the entrepreneur to listen to their employees. They will tell them whether they are happy, whether they agree with the direction of the company, and ultimately if they are going to be productive members of the organization. If the overall sentiment of the organization is not inline with the mission, then the entrepreneur is not leading well. Risk Taking An important quality that an entrepreneur must harness is the ability to take calculated risks. Forging new paths and doing innovative things is always a risk. The leader is the risk taker. If they have employees that are taking risks, they may not have the same vision for the organization as the leader. The entrepreneur should make sure that they communicate their tactics with their employees, so everyone is on the same page and moving in the same direction. An entrepreneurial leader has the ability to motivate employees to a common goal. Take risks is a part of meeting those goals and it is important to offer the organization a long-term purpose or mission that can help guide them through the uncertainty. If the employees understand the mission and believe in the entrepreneur, the entrepreneur is better able to lead. Part of risk taking is also making mistakes. It is ok to make mistakes as long as the entrepreneur learns from them and moves forward. Every risk is not going to pan out, but a constant move forward is important to inspire employees to follow. Team Building A good leader can motivate their team. An entrepreneur will need to have a keen eye for talent and find those under valued employees to join the new venture. The entrepreneur will also want to choose employees that will work together well. Everyone has different styles so no one employee is better than another. However, some employees will fit in better with the entrepreneur, the team, and the vision. Team building after hiring employees will help them work better together, develop their strengths, and identify any weakness that they need to work on. Also, just being around one another outside the office gives people a different perspective. Employees may even drop their barriers and let fellow employees in on a more personal level thus increasing the bond between them and everyone else. Final Thoughts Now that you know what makes an entrepreneur’s leadership, do you have what it takes? Much of what it takes to be an entrepreneur and leader can be learned in a college program in as little as 12 months; however, there is no substitute for passion and drive. You can learn to communicate better and how to build a better team, but passion is not something everyone has. Take the time to prepare yourself for a career as an entrepreneur, leading a new venture, and taking the world by storm. Interested in learning more about what defines an entrepreneur’s leadership? Ready to get a Master of Arts in Entrepreneurship and Innovation degree at Cogswell University of Silicon Valley? Home to a who’s who of high-tech powerhouses—including Apple, Cisco, Facebook and Google—Silicon Valley boasts extraordinary achievements in innovation and entrepreneurship. The culture has fueled the growth of over 135,000 start-ups and has also informed the development of our one-year Master of Arts in Entrepreneurship and Innovation degree. The Master of Arts in Entrepreneurship and Innovation degree program can be completed in as little as 12 months and is designed for graduate students seeking to establish their own business ventures, manage entrepreneurial enterprises, transition to new careers, or thrive through innovation within their current place of work. It provides an excellent way to earn your Master of Arts in Entrepreneurship and Innovation degree with minimal impact to your professional or personal life. Cogswell University of Silicon Valley is uniquely poised to offer a meaningful and valuable education for 21st century students. We believe in an education that directly correlates with the work you’ll be doing after you graduate. Interested in learning more? Contact Us today.