Long back, General Electric CEO Jack Welch had said, “Before you are a leader, success is all about growing yourself. When you become a leader, success is all about growing others.” This rings true especially in these volatile times when there is an increasing need for good leaders. A good leader can make a huge difference in helping an organization adjust its sails and navigate choppy waters during challenging times. While some leaders are born, some grow into becoming leaders over time. Inculcating an entrepreneurial mindset over time is critical in learning how to think like a leader.
What is an Entrepreneurial Mindset?
An entrepreneurial mindset, also known as the growth mindset, reflects a set of skills, beliefs, and attitudes that help to start and manage any kind of enterprise or business. Without this mindset, it can be difficult to form a sustainable business model or embrace adverse situations as opportunities for growth. An individual with an entrepreneurial mindset can overcome obstacles, think-out-of-the-box and solve problems innovatively to sustain projects and businesses in competitive environments for high-impact leadership development. In an organization, this kind of a mindset can be a big boon to future leaders who would be in charge of different projects and people. This is why it’s critical to develop entrepreneurial mindset while learning how to think like a leader from an early stage within an organization.
Change is the only thing constant and in a business it’s best to embrace these changes and adapt. The skills of an entrepreneurial mindset can make it easier to adapt and stand an individual in good stead.
Entrepreneurial mindset skills to develop within organizations
A recent study by Catalyst revealed that empathy is the most important skill in a leader. It is also a critical skill in a growth-oriented mindset. To understand people and business, it is important to be in their shoes and find out what ails them. Empathy allows the space for inclusivity, diversity, innovation and balance. Checking on people and asking about their experience, extending compassion can go a long way in instilling trust among colleagues and employees. This in return contributes to greater employee satisfaction and helps to increase productivity through healthy engagement. For an entrepreneur and leader, it is imperative that they perceive their employees’ grievances and bring in positive experiences for better outcomes. With the United Nations sounding the bugle of mental health crisis, empathy is going to be integral in every workspace and management teams.
One of the great ways to practise empathy is by reaching out to people at work and trying to listen to them without judgement. Practising curiosity over judgement can help individuals know others better and perceive their pain points. This can go a long way in sharpening one’s problem-solving skills.
Decision-making & Risk-Taking:
For leaders, everyday involves small and big steps of decision-making and for entrepreneurs, one wrong decision can bring a business down. This is why it is important to blend instincts and experiences to take decisions for teams and projects. Every decision involves some amount of risk and it is necessary to build higher tolerance towards taking risk. Calculated risks can yield positive outcomes in the long run and the sooner an employee develops this habit, the more confident he will become for the future.
A great way of developing this habit within an organization is to take on responsibilities and try and discuss simple decisions with managers and seniors. It might also be a great idea to practise being independent with smaller decisions in daily life. While being bold with decisions is necessary, it is also important to consult mentors at work whose experience might teach an individual to make wiser decisions that benefit different parties. Entrepreneurs often have to take tough calls at short notice during crisis. Hence, learning to take decisions within tight deadlines regularly can prepare an employee to do the same, making him competent, agile and fearless in the process.
Setting goals and clear vision:
Whether an employee is in a junior position or has climbed up the ladder, it is integral to practise setting goals when assigned tasks for high-impact leadership development. Measurable, time-sensitive goals can be small steps that can be accomplished to move onto the next task. Practising goal-setting will help improve focus and also teach individuals to be methodical. Listing small achievable goals can help one remain motivated and make every task attainable. This can help in building entrepreneurial mindset within because whether a person becomes a leader or an entrepreneur, he will have multiple tasks to be handled and different goals to be accomplished. It’s important to learn the art of multi-tasking calmly and meticulously. This process can become easier if one has a clear vision or goal in mind that keeps one going.
Vision boards and task managing apps like Trello can help in organizing everyday tasks according to short-term and long-term goals. Consistently working towards these goals and visions can help a future leader imbibe a sense of discipline and grit – two critical values in entrepreneurial mindset.
Resilience and Accountability:
Whether one is an entrepreneur or a leader, there will be obstacles and failures. In case of both, there are other people depending on the leader and therefore it is important to learn to bounce back and learn from failures. A growth mindset hinges on pushing out of the comfort zone, embracing changes, facing fears and failures and learning from them. Every failure can be a lesson for an entrepreneurial mindset only if one learns to be accountable before rising again. Accountability can help develop critical-thinking and analytical abilities while resilience in life can help people go through all kinds of storms.
In an organization, it’s important to try new things every now and then without the fear of failing. Every time an employee fails, he should be open to understanding what went wrong and how this can lead to better outcomes in the future. Mistakes happen all the time and it’s important to practise taking responsibility and open oneself up to constructive criticism and feedback for the future. An entrepreneurial mindset is open to feedbacks and uses adversity, failures and crisis and stepping stones for growth.
For aspiring leaders, entrepreneurial mindset is critical in driving action, inculcating focus and ensuring personal and professional growth. While employees can work on developing the above-mentioned skills on their own, organizations also need to support them in different ways. Organizations can ensure a culture of growth and empathy where every employee’s career development is reviewed periodically. Organizations can hold workshops, courses and training sessions to instil entrepreneurial mindset among future leaders of an organization. New, innovative ideas should be encouraged so that employees can learn to practise autonomy and aren’t scared of failing. Creative freedom coupled with a space for honest communication can do wonders for employees’ personal growth and development. A disciplined culture of collaboration, positive communication and inclusivity can help different employees open up and experiment. These little steps can go a long way in helping an employee inculcate the entrepreneurial mindset and also prepare future leaders of an organization.
Rome wasn’t built in a day and with patience and the right approach good leadership and entrepreneurial mindset skills can also be developed over time.