The entrepreneurial mindset isn’t just reserved for entrepreneurs and business owners. In fact, applying an entrepreneurial approach in any career, and at any stage, can serve as a catalyst for growth and position you for a leadership role at your organization. By thinking like an entrepreneur, you can go beyond ‘a cog in the machine’ to an intrapreneur who is indispensable to your organization. This is particularly important for ambitious women moving up the corporate ladder who want to set themselves apart from their peers.
Changing established thinking isn’t easy though, that’s why entrepreneurship education at an early age (in childhood) is crucial to shaping future generations and the future workforce. The earlier an individual becomes immersed in entrepreneurship education the more this mindset becomes second nature to them. They will be able to adopt an outlook that makes them more productive, effective, and impactful regardless of their career.
New Solutions to Old Problems
An entrepreneur relies heavily on the ability to think creatively and critically to solve problems; in a new business, this fact can mean sink or swim. In a corporate setting however, a company may have an established process or way of doing things that employees just accept, even though it may not be the most efficient. Having the ability to look at these old processes in a new light, improve them, and raise efficiency can set you apart in an organization with CEO-level thinking.
Confidence and Letting Your Voice Be Heard
It takes serious self-confidence to start a business and to set out on an entrepreneurial journey. Conviction in an idea and the ability to communicate it define an entrepreneur; they will defend their point with strong belief and make the argument they need to persuade others. This skill can be vital in a corporate setting. Whether it’s negotiating with senior management or at the board level, being able to articulate your point of view and do it with confidence are the hallmarks of a truly effective leader and a strong personality.
Dedication and a Strong Work-Ethic
Successful entrepreneurs exhibit incredible dedication to their business. They have everything on the line, their entire savings, sacrificing time away from family, and their reputation. For entrepreneurs, dedication is one of the biggest factors that determines the success of their business. Employees on the other hand may not feel that same level of dedication toward their employers because that same personal investment may not be there. However, bringing that same sense of dedication and accountability can inspire others on your team to accomplish more, setting you apart as an effective leader with a deep commitment to your organization.
Teamwork and Empathy
Entrepreneurs rely on people around them to achieve their goals, especially since they are not able to manage every function of their business on their own. In addition, to truly work well in a team entrepreneurs need to know how to to listen and develop a sense of empathy. Being empathetic in a business sense isn’t just about understanding emotions, but supporting others to achieve their goals and aspirations. By demonstrating you are able to connect with your team and play a vital role in driving their accomplishments, you will establish yourself as a true leader that is increasing productivity and overall satisfaction within your organization.
Failing and Getting Back Up
If you are unable to deal with failure, then the hard reality is that you aren’t cut out to be an entrepreneur. The same is true for an intrapreneur. Being able to overcome failure and get back up again is critical for a successful entrepreneur and an effective intrapreneur. Not every idea you propose will work and not everything you set out to accomplish will go as planned, that’s why being prepared to deal with adversity and trying again will define you as leader who is persistent and dedicated to the success of your organization.
You don’t have to be an entrepreneur to utilize these skills, all of them are applicable at any stage and in any career. Thinking and behaving like an owner of a company vs. an employee demonstrates exceptional commitment, making you integral to the growth of your company and an immensely valuable asset. In addition, the same skills we discussed all hold true for effective leaders, putting you on a professional and personal development path that no training or years of experience could. You owe it to yourself to continue growing and learning, that’s why we emphasize the importance of the entrepreneurial spirit for everyone, regardless of the path they choose in life and why we have set out to instill entrepreneurship education in children from an early age so we can help set the ground-work for the future leaders, intrapreneurs or entrepreneurs!
Helen Al Uzaizi is the CEO of BizWorld UAE and founder of the entrepreneurship education platform for the MENA region, Future Entrepreneurs. With a 15+ year career in the corporate and start-up worlds, Helen directed her passion to the entrepreneurship education field, working to instill the entrepreneurial mindset in the next generation of leaders.
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