Who is the Entrepreneur?

Rob Greenland has just had a harrowing experience. A couple of on-line tests designed to find out whether or not he has what it takes to be an entrepreneur have come back in the negative. Apparently he ‘may benefit from the security of a permanent job’.  Welcome to the human race Rob!

Most questionnaires designed to elicit whether or not you are an entrepreneur are based on the notion that entrepreneurs conform to a personality type.

  • They do not.

They also assume that all entrepreneurs are interested primarily in financial wealth creation.

  • They are not.

They also assume that entrepreneurs work in isolation.

  • They do not.

The best entrepreneurs work as part of team that they have recruited with care and humility. They concentrate on doing beautifully what they love to do – and surround themselves by people who love to do what they hate. Successful entrepreneurs recognise their own strengths and weaknesses and are able to recruit people to work with them.

It is the skills and passion of the ‘entrepreneurial team’ that are the key determinant in the success of the enterprise.

Not the personal characteristics of the entrepreneur.

If we could just get people to understand the importance of ‘enterprising teams’ rather than the lone heroic entrepreneur then I think we could make a big step forward in the quality of enterprise in the UK.

The death of the entrepreneur – and the enterprise – is solitude.

2 Responses

  1. To be fair Rob it is not just LEGI. Most schemes designed to develop entrepreneurship fail to help entrepreneurs to reach out and build teams. They get a single entrepreneur to start working on a business plan rather than waiting till they have the right team together to do the plan thoroughly and to a consistently high standard.
    Jim Collins teaches that first you have to get the right people on the bus. Then you let them plan the route.
    First get the right people in the enterprise to provide expertise in Product/Service, Marketing/Sales and Financial Management and Controls. Then let them develop the plan as a team .

  2. Thanks for the link Mike. You make some good points there. I too am interested in how we can encourage more entrepreneurs. I worry about initiatives like LEGI, in that I’m not sure that they grasp that a business-as- usual approach to entrepreneur support isn’t going to work in the areas that they’re targeting. The odd few will be inspired by the superheroes, but most will either ignore them or be seriously put off doing something. Luckily I’m far enough down the road to know that, whilst I’m not a super-hero, I don’t do a bad job of being an entrepreneur. But if I was starting out, that kind of response from a survey might have knocked me back.

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