Imagine that you hired three new executives on your senior leadership team: Richard Branson, Bill Gates, and Arianna Huffington. How on earth would you manage them? More importantly, would they appreciate it?
Organisations throughout the world are hoping to increase their competitive advantage by embracing principles of entrepreneurship, but the challenge faced by leaders is how to manage such rebellious types who challenge the status quo.
The answer is simple. You dont manage entrepreneurs; you lead them.
Entrepreneurs by nature are a special breed. They see the world through entirely different lenses. In March last year, I wrote about The Entrepreneurial Mind and how all successful entrepreneurs think in terms of ideas, barriers, and outcomes. You cannot use traditional people-management techniques to get results from entrepreneursbecause they think and behave differently. Instead, you have to become a leader to them and support and guide them along the way.
Leadership through the eyes of an entrepreneur is not about managing people, but rather influencing them through inspiration and motivation to help them achieve outcomes. You might not be able to performance manage Branson, Gates, and Huffington, but you can certainly work out what drives them and use that passion to mould their outcomes in line with your strategy.
Leadership, like any other element in your CEO toolkit, requires a strong investment of time and energy; but learning good leadership techniques provides a massive return on investment in the long run. Although there are many styles of leadership around, my personal leadership philosophy is a simple one that has helped me achieve everything throughout my career: Dream, Build, Inspire, Lead!®
The beautiful thing is that when you analyse the achievements of other successful entrepreneurs and business leaders, you find they all do the same four things in different ways. Let me break down the framework for you so you can get a sense of how to embrace it for your own purposes.