Hiring an Entrepreneurial Leader

Hiring a leader who is both entrepreneurial AND happy to be an employee is a tough assignment. Or maybe you are a leader yourself and you need to grow, and show, your entrepreneurial abilities. 

Timothy Butler’s research in HBR (March/April 2017) comes up with some fascinating insights. Your attitudes to uncertainty, control and persuasiveness turn out to be the key factors.

Did you think it’s about being creative? Not so much. It’s more about being able to thrive in uncertainty, which brings out your motivation to be adventurous, to learn, and to seek opportunities in the situation. 

Did you think it’s about being a risk taker? Again, not so much. Entrepreneurs are certainly more comfortable with risk, but they don’t actively seek it out. 

They are however control freaks – in a particular way. It’s not about dominating others. Instead, entrepreneurs need to be at the centre of the process of creating the project or product. Like an artist or sculptor, they need to feel that they own the end result. Think of Steve Jobs’ need to be at the heart of every detail of Apple products in his time. 

Entrepreneurs are, as you would expect, natural salespeople. Their passion for their projects is highly persuasive. 

But how do you identify these characteristics when hiring? It’s about eliciting evidence of each of the above themes. Butler’s article includes suggested questions and some quick questionnaire-style activities that will show preferences for or against these characteristics. 

Read it here

Over to you! 

Your Coach, Hugh 

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