The Struggle Between Entrepreneurship and Leadership

I read a fantastic blog the other day on Full Start called, How to bridge the gap between being a good entrepreneur & a good leader. I guess I never truly thought about the personality differences of an entrepreneur and a leader, but it helped shed light on a few dilemmas I’ve been experiencing recently.

Entrepreneurs Vs. Leaders

Work Style

Entrepreneurs and leaders have completely different work styles. Entrepreneurs are typically loners, preferring to take on the work themselves. Leaders are delegators needing hierarchy and structure to pass along tasks. I constantly find myself trusting only myself to complete projects, but the leader in me knows I need to delegate. It can be a really difficult internal struggle. Entrepreneurs don’t like to let go, but we need to learn to trust people in order to devote time to more important tasks.

Create or Build

Entrepreneurs are idea people. We always have something new up our sleeves and are gunning to start the next big thing. Leaders are builders, and building something great takes time. Building also takes the effort of multiple people. As an entrepreneur it can be hard to focus yourself on one project for too long, and as a leader it can be difficult to push yourself into something new. The intersection between the two leaves you with the question: should I stay or should I go?.

Break or Implement

Entrepreneurs hop around to new projects because they’re tired of processes and rules. Entrepreneurs are the types of people who break things to start something new. Leaders work in the realm of implementation. Process building allow you to identify the who, what, where, when of projects. It’s the stuff leaders thrive on.

How to Master Both

As an entrepreneurial-leader, you can have it all, but it starts with changing your focus.

Too many ideas floating around in your head? Toss them to someone on your team and see what they can do with them. You may be surprised at the results.

Don’t want to hinder creativity but want to build something? Bring the whole team into regular brainstorming sessions. Spread out the creative process and challenge the team to come up with their own projects allowing them to both create and innovate.

Need rules but don’t want to create barriers? Create guidelines to help steer the process but not so much so it hinders creativity. Incentive programs are also a great way to drive your team toward success and productivity while keeping them on track.

As an Entrepreneur, whenever you feel overwhelmed, take a step back and think about involving your team. Building and creating doesn’t need to be a lonely business! Be the entreprenuer-leader your organization needs.

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