Entrepreneurship vs Leadership

Develop both for business success

For almost 10 years now I’ve had the honor of helping Entrepreneurs launch, build, grow and scale their companies. We have clients in our portfolio that have been with us since the beginning. Their journeys are fascinating to be a part of. I am amazed daily by the ingenuity, energy, enthusiasm and optimism these founders possess. I have also come to realize that while Entrepreneurship comes naturally to these individuals, Leadership does not. The most successful Entrepreneurs have studied, embraced and practiced leadership in order to develop this essential talent. Let’s explore…..

  1. Entrepreneurs grow ideas, Leaders grow people. Inventors have amazing minds. They are able to see the future, infer trends and create markets where none existed previously. These individuals can launch a company from an idea and have the stamina to keep going no matter what. Leaders are the people who understand that although one mind might be brilliant, so much more can be achieved by learning and growing with others around who all believe in the same vision.
  2. Entrepreneurs drive toward the objective, Leaders take people along with them. Entrepreneurs are laser focused on “taking the hill.” Many do this at the expense of others who can’t keep up or don’t agree with the path. Leaders understand that they need a team – no one person can do it alone. Leaders seek out advice, support and engagement from friends, advisors, colleagues, partners and employees to “take the hill.”
  3. Entrepreneurs micromanage, Leaders delegate. Entrepreneurs are tirelessly committed to their vision. Often they believe that no one can possibly do a job as well as they can. They may lack the ability to trust others and so they embark on the impossible task of being hands on in EVERY component of their business. Leaders are mature professionals who understand that scaling a company is impossible if the founder has to be involved with every component. The accomplished Leader knows how to tap into the talents of others, and include them as integral parts of the business. Trusting them, coaching and mentoring along the way in order for all to achieve success.
  4. Entrepreneurs command, Leaders coach. In their effort to stay focused on building their dream, Entrepreneurs tend to undervalue empathy and sensitivity. They will bark orders rather than make requests, issue commands and get defensive when someone questions them. Leaders take a coaching posture with their teams. Leaders understand that their success is dependent on their team members being successful. The practiced Leader will take an enormous amount of time on the front end with individuals in order to make sure that they have the tools, knowledge and confidence to be accomplished in their role.

I believe that you can be an Entrepreneur without strong Leadership competency.  However, your success will be finite – I know some brilliant company founders who have “been driven out of town” because of their unwillingness to embrace Leadership skills.  For more ideas on combining your Entrepreneurship with Leadership, visit us here!

About the Author:

Kimberly Lucas is the Founder and Chief People Connector at Goldstone Partners, Inc., a Colorado-based search and talent advisory firm specializing in recruitment strategy and engaged search for privately-held companies. As a seasoned entrepreneur and career coach, Kimberly is committed to helping founders build strong, profitable companies that stand the test of time. As a Certified StrengthsFinder coach she works with individuals and teams to help them achieve their stated objectives. Kimberly is an active mentor for MBA students at the University of Colorado’s Leeds School of Business, serves on the board of the Rockies Venture Club, is a founding member of RVC Women and facilitates a Thinking Partner Mastermind group.

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