Sometimes, an entrepreneur and a leader, or say, entrepreneurship and leadership are considered as synonym, i.e. meaning the same thing. But, these two terms mean quite different meanings. Entrepreneurship means a set of attributes that an entrepreneur possesses and practices in starting his /her enterprises. But, leadership is the process of influencing people and providing an environment for them to achieve the organizational objectives. Thus, leadership is quite different from entrepreneurship. Entrepreneurship can be included in leadership, but not leadership in entrepreneurship says Abhita Batra.
Abhita says more often than not, we tend to think of entrepreneurship and leadership as synonymous qualities. Entrepreneurs are expected to break new ground, be innovative, start something new. It only stands to reason they would naturally take charge of what they’ve created and lead it. However, it turns out that the required skills of an effective entrepreneur are almost entirely different from the required skills of an effective leader. As many CEOs of growing companies can tell you, there’s a vast difference between creating a business and growing one.
Entrepreneurs Vs Leaders
Entrepreneurs grow ideas, Leaders grow people
Inventors have amazing minds. They are able to see the future, infer trends and create markets where none existed previously. These individuals can launch a company from an idea and have the stamina to keep going no matter what. Leaders are the people who understand that although one mind might be brilliant, a team will achieve so much more if everyone believes in the same vision.
Entrepreneurs drive toward the objective, Leaders take people along with them
Entrepreneurs are laser focused on “taking the hill.” Many do this at the expense of others who can’t keep up or don’t agree with the path. Leaders understand that they need a team – no one person can do it alone. Leaders seek out advice, support and engagement from friends, advisors, colleagues, partners and employees to “take the hill.”
The leader is able to clearly articulate their ideas, and the plan to achieve common goals. They encourage communication between departments and across levels. They avoid ambiguities and generalizations, and are able to avoid conflict and misunderstanding due to poor communication.
A successful entrepreneurial leader has a clear vision. He knows exactly where he wants to go and how to get there. They communicate their vision to the team and work with them to make the vision a reality
Entrepreneurs micromanage, Leaders delegate
Entrepreneurs are tirelessly committed to their vision. Often they believe that no one can possibly do a job as well as they can. They may lack the ability to trust others and so they embark on the impossible task of being hands on in EVERY component of their business. Leaders are mature professionals who understand that scaling a company is impossible if the founder has to be involved with every component. The accomplished Leader knows how to tap into the talents of others, and include them as integral parts of the business. Trusting them, coaching and mentoring along the way in order for all to achieve success.
Leadership has also its implications for entrepreneurial behavior. People with leadership qualities, for example, influencing ability, are found more prone to become entrepreneurs and perform entrepreneurial functions more effectively. Entrepreneurs are visionaries. They make lots of promises, and by the skin of their teeth and seat of their pants they keep most of them. Reaching beyond their grasp allows them to stretch further which often leads to break-through innovation. Unfortunately, this comes with a cost: Not all promises are kept. Execution sometimes takes a back seat to innovation.