One red fish swims the opposite way of a school of blue fish

7 Key Qualities for Entrepreneurial Leadership

Here are a few classic questions in the business world: Are entrepreneurs born or made? And, do entrepreneurs make good leaders? Both questions are arguable and the evidence is probably based on who you know, but many business leaders agree: there a few essential qualities that any entrepreneur must possess to be both successful and to be able to lead.

Passion, Vision, and Drive, and a Need for Change

Entrepreneurship is about trying to build a successful business from the ground up, and in order to really see that happen, entrepreneurs need have the drive and passion to do it. They also have to have a vision for the business that stems from the fact that their vision isn’t already present in the market. Thus, entrepreneurs have to possess the willingness and motivation to create something that stems from needed change.

Ability to Use What You Already Have to Get Ahead

You may not have money, but you might have all the right connections, or you might have the opposite problem. Regardless of what you don’t have, you must be able to recognize what you do have and be resourceful. Entrepreneurs can’t be followers in order to start a business; they have to be leaders (even if they’re only leading themselves) by having the willingness to go and get what they need.

The Willingness and Ability to Develop and Energize the Right People

If entrepreneurs have the right vision, they’ll need the right people to make it happen. Leadership is an important part of starting a new company, and some entrepreneurs find it difficult to fit into the leadership role. But a huge part of leadership is simply taking the time to invest in and develop your people. The only way to expand and make your start-up the best company is by depending on others to help you get there. The best way to depend on people is to make sure you build company loyalty.

Be Both a Bold Risk Taker and a Cunning Risk Assessor

Entrepreneurs can’t simply rely on good ideas and connections to make a new business successful. Entrepreneurs also have to be able to take risks to get ahead. Entrepreneurs are infamous for being bold risk takers due to the big name entrepreneurs out there like Steve Jobs and Bill Gates. But what these classic entrepreneurs were also good at was risk assessment. Entrepreneurs aren’t crazy; they have to be cunning. A good entrepreneur should be smart when taking risks, even if these risks are necessary.

A Strong Sense of Ethic, Integrity, and Honesty

The best companies are not just the companies that make the highest profit. The best companies are born out of innovation, the best work practices, and the best work environments. A strong entrepreneurial leader is someone with a strong sense of ethics to push the business to the best of its potential without resorting to illegal and backdoor practices that ultimately fail a company. From an individual standpoint, this also requires personal integrity and honesty of the entrepreneur him or herself.

Last Updated: April 15, 2015