What is it that makes people enterprising? What is it that drives them to take initiative and maybe even to start something of their own? Is it that people are tired with authority, or that they are simply driven by the hope of the money they can make? Is it that people are driven by innovation, disruption and other such buzz words? Or is it simply put passion and creativity combined?
Well, entrepreneurship is about a lot of things. However, it is best understood without the buzzwords and through simple actions that entrepreneurial people take. Based on study, experience and observation, here are a few key things that drive people with an entrepreneurial spirit.
Changing the status quo
Entrepreneurial people are not happy with things just being as they are. They look forward to finding areas which are not working and solve them. They identify which things are not working, they ask why they are not working and then they work to change the status quo. In that sense, these people are great stewards at preserving processes that work and then taking it further to the next level.
Solving a problem
Enterprising people do not leave problems unresolved. As business leaders, as product managers, as housewives, as friends, as human beings; If you see an entrepreneurial person, you will see them solving a problem. In fact, they will usually be the people to even perceive the unperceived problems in the first place.
You have a rare health condition? The regular doctor will be resigned and cynical. The enterprising doctor? He will know where in the world latest research is happening, he might even connect you with the doctor in US through and Email and try to help you find some telemedicine solution between US and India.
Remember that teacher who taught you the solar system with the help of balls, way before smart classrooms were invented? Or the physics teacher who told you that the structure of atom looked like ‘Shaktimaan’, rather than the plain 2-D diagram on paper?
You’ve got a problem? The enterprising person has a potential solution. You don’t know whether you have a problem? Trust and allow them to find one.
Making contribution and empowering others
They have a gene. A gene that the inspirational speaker Wintle Phipps calls – The HPLP gene. Helping People Live their Potential gene. As cheesy as this might sound, people with an enterprising spirit are all about making contribution.
They treat everything in this world as a resource, which needs to be used to improve other people’s lives. Money, skill, time, everything is a resource for them. A resource to empower others and start the chain reaction (no matter how slow), to empower everyone in the process. They are not insecure people. They want everyone to succeed and they make it happen.
People with an enterprising spirit are not about just ‘gyaan’, plain bookish knowledge, or insights without a follow-up action. They are adept at executing solutions. Also, because they have empowered people, all their lives, they know which people need to be in what roles. They have a strategy in place, they have the people in place, they have a problem to solve and the planned way to the solution. What more do you need?
Follow-up action and ensuring accountability.
Entrepreneurial people ensure that things get done and that results are delivered. They are on the top of their game and they are not snobbish about it, because they understand that great results are never delivered alone.
Creating success systems
Every time an enterprising person solves a problem, creates a result, or drives a success, they also create a system for that success. Their internal system comprises of the vision, the values, the personality traits of the people involved. Their external system comprises of the external stakeholders, the results, the assets they build, and the financial gains. Most importantly, they know where to find the balance between the two.
Entrepreneurship is not about starting or running a business. It is about taking responsibility and leading from front, while parallelly empowering others to become enterprising in their own right. It is entrepreneurial people who create other entrepreneurial people afterall.
Bossidy, L., Charan, R., & Burck, C. (2002). Execution: The discipline of getting things done.
Stone, W. C. (1962). The success system that never fails. Englewood Cliffs, N.J: Prentice-Hall.
Christensen, C. M. (1997). The innovator's dilemma: When new technologies cause great firms to fail. Boston, Mass: Harvard Business School Press.
Dyer, J., Gregersen, H. B., & Christensen, C. M. (2011). The innovator's DNA: mastering the five skills of disruptive innovators. Boston, Mass.: Harvard Business Press.