Earlier this year, I found myself not as the boss, but working for someone else on a freelance/consulting basis—a situation I hadn’t been in for over 12 years. I was working with other consultants on a project, setting up a new initiative and creating new processes and deliverables. As I collaborated with other partners, I started to notice something about myself. Once we were given our responsibilities and goals, I was ready to execute. I rarely waited for products of the project to be reviewed before they were launched. I also became frustrated if the process became bogged down in decision making.
I am sharing this experience not to promote a particular behavior in consultancy; in fact, this trait could potentially make me a less than ideal consultant! However, the capacity to take initiative and proceed without needing approval, even if it might unsettle some, I believe is a unique leadership quality of business owners and entrepreneurs. One that I believe could be vital for professionals aspiring to climb the career ladder and take on more significant leadership roles and responsibilities.
Being on the other side of the desk, so to speak, offered me the unique opportunity to see a new perspective on leadership. It led me to ponder upon other possible traits that differentiate entrepreneurial leaders. What unique qualities and behaviors set them apart, and how can these traits aid individuals in achieving unparalleled leadership success within their organizations?
I quickly realized I was not treading on uncharted territory. My research led me to some invaluable resources that delve into the realm of entrepreneurial leadership such as the work of Joel Peterson:
Entrepreneurial Leadership: The Art of Launching New Ventures, Inspiring Others and Running Stuff.
Drawing from my own journey as an entrepreneur, I've identified specific behaviors and actions that epitomize entrepreneurial leadership. Entrepreneurial leaders:
I look forward to exploring these leadership behaviors more in my writing, interviews on The Travel Leader and with my clients. In the meantime, check out these resources:
Video with Joel Peterson Are you an Entrepreneurial Leader?
Article 7 Characteristics of the Best Entrepreneurial Leaders
Rachel Vandenberg is a leadership coach living in Stowe, Vermont with her husband and three children. Rachel also owns and operates a hotel and attractions property with her family. She sits on the board of the local tourism association and also created a leadership retreat for women leaders in travel.