My dear readers, I required a learning curve to inform myself of the significance of “entrepreneurial leadership “ as it pertains to one’s journey into the realm of entrepreneurial pursuit.
I have said previously that I have grown over the past four years entrenched with the theory of the magical blend of both entrepreneurial and leadership principles with a sprinkling of “charisma” for flavour. Let me begin my sharing with you this week with a tone-setting phrase captured from one of the American historical fathers: “If our actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, then, my friends, you are a leader.”
Charismatic entrepreneurial leadership can make a difference in assembling a team that leads your venture to the success goal line or stalls you at mid-field. The quality that separates leadership is ones approach to people. Let me offer an illustration to point this out: A young woman dined with two noted executives on successive nights. When asked about her impression of the rival men, she said, “ When I left the dining room after sitting next to Mr. Jones, I thought he was the cleverest man in British Columbia. But, after sitting next to Mr. Brown, the next evening, I thought I was the cleverest woman in British Columbia.”
What distinguished Jones from Brown was charisma. Brown possessed a personal charm sorely lacking in the leadership style of his economic rival. His personal appeal attracted both friends and gave him a leading edge in the design, creation and deliverance of his entrepreneurial dreams.
Of all leadership attributes, it seems charisma is perhaps the least understood. At first glance, charisma appears to be an invisible energy or magnetism ( which I do believe, by the way) But, the reality, I have discovered that charisma is both explainable and learnable and is applicable to life ..and is not restricted to the “ entrepreneurial” journey but, does, in fact, set entrepreneurial leaders apart from the pack.
And, I do accept readily that charisma helps to boost a leader’s influence in whatever challenges they may be confronted with.
Let’s look at a few qualities of a charismatic ( entrepreneurial) leader to give you a feel for my focus relative to an entrepreneurship success formula.
Charisma, is often defined, first of all, as “ the ability to inspire enthusiasm, interest or affection in others by means of personal charm or influence.” Leaders who have this special ability share four things in common it appears – and I won’t get into them in great length but to touch on them for your identification.
They love Life—are passionate about life in general, they celebrate, not complain. They are characterized by joy, warmth, energy and radiance in an infectious way. We are hardwired to take on the energy of those around us. Leaders who love life have charisma because they fill the room with a positive energy.
They Value the Potential in People—thus, expect the best from those around you in everything you engage in your life, business, social, playtime. Put a 10 above everyone’s head (not easy at times but, get it up there just the same ) Leaders see people, not as they are, but, as they could be, and thus, help them to build a bridge to get there.They Give Hope—people, all of us, have an inner longing to improve our future and our fortunes (hopefully for this zealot—through the entrepreneurial way.)
Charismatic entrepreneurial leaders connect with people by painting tomorrow brighter than today. The future is full of amazing opportunities and unrealized dreams. (Reminds me of our friend Crystal Flaman, our Okanagan social entrepreneur inspiration who never, ever stops believing in people and their potential.)
They Share Themselves—(this is a great one folks ) Leaders with charisma add value to people by sharing wisdom, resources and even special occasions. They embrace the power of inclusion for learning, brainstorming and simply, coffee talk. Such leaders embrace the entrepreneurial team spirit and value togetherness thus, they are never lonely at the top.
This item presents entrepreneurial charismatic leadership as that which is anchored in substance. The greatest satisfaction is found by serving. They find great personal pleasure celebrating the successes of those around them and the victories are a team triumph.
Richard Branson, the 57-year-old British mega-millionaire entrepreneur with 200 branded companies, 50,000 employees and $24 billion annual revenues states that “Great entrepreneurial leadership isn’t just about what to do you do and why you do it.” Passion, he says, must be the driving force. “You must be passionate about what you want to do and help change the world for the better. There is no point in spending time being entrepreneurial unless you’re going to make a massive difference in people’s lives who 100 per cent believe in what you’re doing and what they’re doing.”
I suspect by now, dear readers, you have got the drift that I have offered on the powerful magic that evolves from “charismatic entrepreneurial leadership” and I would like to close my column this week with a list of 10 reasons, yes I said 10, that are very exacting of what becoming an entrepreneurial leader can mean to you. (Cut these out and paste on your fridge door for ready reference please—you won’t be sorry.)
1. To experience the uncertain journey of entrepreneurship (We all have but one short life, and if you do not give yourself a shot at it, you are truly missing out on a great life experience.)
2. To bring out the inner strength in yourself (that is there deep rooted or otherwise but there)
3. To make yourself proud by walking on a path that is less travelled ( To stand out of majority and create an unforgettable identity for yourself )
4. To show people around you that you are a person of strength and confidence ( people will look upon you as a source of strength and seek your advice during hardships )
5. To value your own skills and strengths
6. To be an inspiration and example for others.
7. To be creative and innovative ( yes, my friends, when you walk on the entrepreneurship path, your creative side will jump out at you in most unexpected ways I promise )
8. To make a difference in the lives of others
9. To be happy, to love life and—to love self.
10 Finally, to create wealth (And, you thought I would place this at the top but, I guarantee that the previous nine reasons will give you much more than this 10th.)
Go ahead, start moving and walk with me on this wonderful journey of entrepreneurial leadership and discover your charismatic self. There’s magic in these Okanagan mountains, just take the first step.
Shakespeare gave us a line to remember forever: “All things are ready if our minds be so.”