Five steps to integrating privacy protection into IT transformations
Nature or Nurture? Decoding the DNA of the Entrepreneur
Few roles in business attract as much interest and attention as entrepreneurship. Often characterized as the “rock stars” of the business world, entrepreneurial leaders enjoy a reputation as freewheeling, innovative mavericks.
They are assumed to have a level of freedom of which traditional managers can only dream, and are perceived as operating in a world far removed from the staid bureaucracy of corporate life.
This romantic vision of entrepreneurship is appealing but, like most stereotypes, wide of the mark. The overlap between entrepreneurial leaders and traditional managers is much larger than is often assumed. Creative, innovative individuals may possess copious excellent ideas, but it takes leadership and business discipline to turn them into successful ventures.
Decades of academic research has sought to identify the particular characteristics of successful entrepreneurial leaders. This work may not have identified a simple formula or "entrepreneurship gene" that can be nurtured and replicated, but it reveals certain characteristics and habits typically shared by successful entrepreneurial leaders. But these characteristics alone are not enough to create the conditions for business success. Building a successful entrepreneurial venture also depends on a complex interaction of internal and external factors, including timing, geography, culture and sometimes luck.
With many major governments and industries around the world extolling entrepreneurship and innovation as a source of economic growth and job creation, the question remains, what makes up an entrepreneurial mindset? This question is echoed in major corporate boardrooms, with many chief executives keen to encourage internal entrepreneurial thinking and innovation as a way to reinvent their businesses and stay ahead of the competition.
The aim of this report is to provide some insights into the minds of today's most successful entrepreneurial leaders and discern what makes them successful. We conclude with a model that we feel describes the core of an entrepreneurial leader, which represents both the intrinsic and extrinsic characteristics of their mindset and abilities.
As the founders of the World Entrepreneur Of The Year Program, Ernst & Young is uniquely positioned to share these insights. The report features perspective from a survey of 685 entrepreneurial business leaders from around the world and is informed by a series of in-depth interviews with Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year Award winners.