Ilove talking with business
leaders. Call me a business
nerd, but there are few things more interesting to me than conversations with people running a
company or a division of a company, and getting inside their
minds to understand how they
But talk to an entrepreneur and
you’ll get a slightly different perspective on leadership, management and
business. As the person who founded and
grew the company, an entrepreneur
approaches everything as someone who has
everything to lose or gain.
A few years ago, I identified four traits nearly every entrepreneur has. As we present you
with the 2007 Ernst & Young Entrepreneur
Of The Year awards coverage in this issue, it’s
worth revisiting those unique characteristics.
- Risk-taker. Entrepreneurs lay all their money on the table. They aim
high and bet big, accepting the
fact that odds are they will lose
more often than they will win.
Successful entrepreneurs, however, learn from their mistakes
and apply the lessons to their
- Vision. Visionaries clearly see
what they want to accomplish
and remain focused on their goals. How
many people would have been willing to bet
on a guy claiming people would buy $4 cups
of coffee? But Howard Schultz did just that
when he founded his first Starbucks coffee-house, and today, he runs one of the world’s
most successful and well-known brands.
- Confidence. Failure is never an option to
an entrepreneur. There’s always a solution
waiting to be found that results in success.
Failure happens, of course, but that’s the downside of taking risks.
True entrepreneurs exude a steady, confident attitude that says if they just stick with
it, the business will succeed. They have utter
faith in their product or service, and they
never, ever waver.
- Motivator. Because they’re not content
with the long process of working their way
up at a large company, proving themselves at
every level and building legions of believers
along the way, entrepreneurs possess the
ability to inspire employees, build champions
and get the most out of talented rising stars.
As you read through our special report on
this year’s honorees, keep in mind these four
traits and think about how they apply to your
own leadership and management style.
Contact Editor Dustin Klein at [email protected]