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The Entrepreneurial Leadership Edge Published: Sunday, April 1, 2001 By: Dr. Manuel Angel Morales

Many writers, researchers, scholars and professionals have worked with the psychology of entrepreneurialism. The purpose has been to identify behavioral sets, culture foundations and organizational strategies for continuously creating opportunity in an age of ambiguity and uncertainty. Among the most profound researchers of this topic we can mention the work Gifford and Elizabeth Pinchot, Rita Gunther Mc Grawth and Ian Mac Millan, among others.

One of the key ideas of the entrepreneurialism is that the most important job of leaders is to find opportunities and to identify the critical competitive insights, but also that of creating an organization that does these things. The entrepreneurial leader will have succeed when there is a critical mass in the organization that takes for granted that business success is about a continuous search for new opportunities and a continuous letting go of excess baggage or less productive undertakings.

Leaders will have succeeded when, at least, a core group feels that it has not only the right, but the obligation to seek out knew opportunities and to make them happen. Key psychological indicators of this type of working environment are when you can almost feel the energy in the organizational context, when people come to work with a happy face and reflecting excitement, and when they are proud of being associated to a dream team. And, of course, the organization will have succeeded when the value that has been created translates into profitability and wealth that can be later distributed in a responsible manner.

What distinguishes leaders who are capable of sustained and significant business revitalization from other executives is their personal and team practices on the job. These practices, according to a established and profound research foundation, fall into three categories: (1) practices that set the work climate, (2) practices that orchestrate the process of seeking and implementing opportunities to grow the business, and, (3) hands on practices that involve crafting solutions with the people at the work on a particular venture. These practices are important for creating the entrepreneurial mind-set and the organizational culture that sustains it, irrespective of the type of organization. These practices will contribute to establishing a pervasive spirit and willingness to seek out and grasp entrepreneurial initiative throughout the organization and its environment.

Either inside or outside the organization the entrepreneur leader is the one that fosters risk, innovation, new ideas for a product, service, realization of an opportunity, or dissatisfaction with the status quo or the conventional state of things: The problem with launching a new organizational model and behaviors sets is that everything about it is likely to be out of whack with the existing traditional model. The more the new organizational opportunities differ from the model that characterizes the status quo, the more difficult it will be for people used to existing model to understand them.

Unless, and only unless, you pay attention to confronting the discontinuities between the new models and the base operation, the very forces of the status quo that made the old organization successful will tend to preserve it to the detriment of the new emerging organization.

Thus, the purpose of leadership is to reduce the paralyzing effects of uncertainty. It is about telling people what they should focus on and freeing people to capitalize on new opportunities through structures that encourage creative behavior, and the tools and education to make entrepreneurial behavior effective.

You can`t predict anymore. But you can adapt the new emerging conditions by being agile enough to guess where the value is going and position the organization to capitalize on it.

 


Copyright 2001 QBS, Inc.
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