An Entrepreneurial Mindset is Essential for Leaders

Written by Caroline Dowd-Higgins. Posted in Featured

Published on November 24, 2021 with No Comments

By Caroline Dowd-Higgins, author of This Is Not The Career I Ordered

In my work as an executive leadership coach, I often help candidates prepare for job interviews. When vying for a new role, even seasoned leaders are asked to define their leadership philosophy and give examples of their management.

While every role requires experience and relevant subject-matter expertise, I believe an Entrepreneurial Mindset is essential for all leaders. You don’t have to be a business owner or a founder of a start-up to think and act like an entrepreneur; instead, tap into these intrapreneurialskills in any organization.

An entrepreneurial leader whom I admire greatly is Pat East. East is an executive director of The Dimension Mill, a co-work community helping individuals and businesses do their best work. I’m channeling Pat’s wisdom and sharing the entrepreneurial traits he believes can be learned to help you pursue a fulfilling career and groom others in your sphere of influence. These are also essential qualities for excellent leaders.

Optimism – a hopefulness and confidence about the future. The pandemic has forced us to live in a state of ambiguity; optimism can be a guiding light during uncertain times and constant change.

Self-Discipline – empowers you to achieve. This multi-layered competency includes:

  • Commitment: Be true to your word.
  • Taking care of yourself: Honor your mind, body, and spirit.
  • Setting boundaries: Have personal and professional limits that align with your values.
  • Clearly defining goals: Be specific in your goals to increase the possibility of accomplishment.
  • Honoring deadlines: Practice good enough to go by being brave not perfect.

Open-Mindedness – enables you to think critically and rationally. Step out of your comfort zone; additionally, consider other ideas and perspectives.

Competitive Spirit – focus on your personal best. A competitive spirit may spark creativity, motivation, and productivity.

Self-Motivation – your inner drive to act. Instead of relying on others to tell you what to do, self-motivation pushes you to be self-directed and proactive. It takes moxie and inner hutzpah to design your path forward.

Willingness to Fail – fail forward, fast, and often. Approach each day with a beginner’s mind and learn to innovate and build resilience with each fabulous fail. Leaders who create an environment of psychological safety destigmatize failure and empower others to try new things.

Innovation – celebrate the successful exploitation of new ideas that lead to efficiency, effectiveness, and a competitive edge.

Tenacity – tap your inner grit – your firmness of mind, spirit, and unyielding courage in the face of challenge. 

Flexibility – adjust to change quickly and calmly so you can deal with unexpected problems and tasks effectively.

Ingenuity – use your creative brainpower to be clever, original, and inventive.

Action Bias – in the spirit of Design Thinking, put your plan into action. Action leads to growth and result; inaction leads to analysis paralysis.

Whether you are honing your leadership skills or interviewing your prospective leader for a new career opportunity, be mindful of the importance of an entrepreneurial spirit.

Caroline Dowd-Higginsauthored the book “This Is Not the Career I Ordered” and maintains the career reinvention blog of the same name. She is Vice President of Career Coaching and Employer Connections for the Ivy Tech Community College system and contributes to Huffington PostThrive GlobalEllevate Network, Medium and The Chronicle newspaper in Indiana. Her online video series:Thrive! about career & life empowerment for women is on YouTube. Caroline hosts the 3-time award winning podcast,  Your Working Life on iTunes and SoundCloud. Her TEDxWOMEN talk about defining success on your terms is available on YouTube. Follow her on FacebookLinkedInGoogle+, and Twitter

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About Caroline Dowd-Higgins

All opinions, conclusions or recommendations expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Chronicle. Caroline Dowd-Higgins authored the book "This Is Not the Career I Ordered" (now in the 2ndedition) and maintains the career reinvention blog of the same name. She is Vice President of Career Coaching and Employer Connections for the Ivy Tech Community Collegesystem and contributes to Huffington PostThrive GlobalEllevate Network,Mediumand The Chronicle newspaper in Indiana.Her online show:Thrive!about career & life empowerment for women is on YouTube. Caroline hosts the award winning podcast, Your Working Lifeon iTunesand SoundCloud. Follow her on FacebookLinkedIn,Google+,and Twitter.

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