We often get asked what we mean my entrepreneurial leadership so here is a brief response. Entrepreneurial leadership is closely related to transformational leadership, in that an entrepreneurial leader has the appetite and ability to explore new opportunities, inspire others to deliver them and, in the process, lead change and innovation.
Entrepreneurial leaders, like all good leaders have passion, vision, focus and the ability to inspire and motivate others to work with them. Additionally they apply an entrepreneurial mindset to explore and enact new opportunities to achieve organisational goals. The development of entrepreneurial leaders in higher education, with mindsets and behaviours such as creative thinking, the willingness and ability to innovate, lead change and take calculated risks, can enable a university to respond more effectively to challenges, seize opportunities, develop a competitive edge and achieve greater success.
We explore these ideas in greater depth in our courses but here are six tips on developing a more entrepreneurial style of leadership…
- Be outward-looking, well connected and keep an open mind to new possibilities; create and seize opportunities when they arise.
- Know and trust your team and encourage team members to be innovative and creative in the way they work. Accept there are different ways of working to achieve shared goals.
- Celebrate successes but accept there will be some failures too. Promote a “ no-blame” culture. Often the greatest learning occurs when things don’t go according to plan, besides nothing ventured, nothing gained!
- Be open-minded, create and use internal and external university networks to share and learn from those around you.
- Understand risk and what it really means. There are always risks associated with new initiatives, change and innovation BUT sometimes the greatest risk is doing nothing.
- Boundaries to entrepreneurial activity in universities sometimes need to be challenged and pushed. Rules and regulations which obstruct new initiatives or responsiveness may need to be reviewed. Leaders have a role to play in the removal of such barriers to achieve greater success.