Entrepreneurial Leadership – A Primer
What is it?
Entrepreneurial Leadership is an emerging leadership paradigm that has grown out of the challenges and opportunities presented by the ongoing digitalisation of society and its workforce. Its aim is to cultivate entrepreneurial teams that fully leverage their creative potential in creating value for the organisation. It does this by employing leadership practices that develop the ability in employees to self-generate, self-reflect, and self-correct in their workplace.
In other words: Entrepreneurial Leadership “flips the pyramid” and challenges traditional notions of what it means to be a leader. Rather than carrying a team or even a whole organisation on one’s back, Entrepreneurial Leaders learn how to engage and enable their staff to carry their own weight and contribute towards a common goal with intrinsic motivation, purpose-orientated action, and a genuine feeling of ownership.
Entrepreneurial Leadership brings together valuable insights, techniques, and perspectives on human development from coaching, systems theory, integral practice, social psychology, and creativity theory and combines them with an entrepreneurial mindset. This is particularly important because it is what distinguishes this approach from seemingly similar ones such as Citizen Leadership and Transformational Leadership. Entrepreneurial Leadership aims to unlock the creative potential in teams and cultivate authentic independent, purpose-oriented actions in order to create value for the organisation.
Why is it relevant?
The ongoing global digitalisation has brought about many challenges in the way we do business. The rise of information technology, social networks, and the rapid proliferation of mobile technologies are blurring the lines between businesses and their markets. This is creating the most complex and fastest changing socio-economic environment humanity has ever experienced. In this digitally augmented world, organisations can no longer appear to be slow and unresponsive. Hierarchical and bureaucratic structures that create impersonal experiences for employees as well as its customers are not tapping into the full human potential available to them. This means that many organisations are leaving value on the table while also losing their appeal to a new generation of high-engagement customers and employees.
Through Entrepreneurial Leadership, established organisations can create “spaces of high engagement” within existing structures, which allow leaders to leverage the full human potential available to them for the benefit of the employees and the business. Through the cultivation of their entrepreneurial capabilities, organisations strengthen their ability to confidently engage with the increasing complexities of the digitally augmented marketplace and translate them into value for their customers, employees, and business.