Encourage your people to be committed to a project rather than just be involved in it” - Richard Pratt

In every team there needs to be a blend of men and women, leaders and supporters, the logical left-brained and the more creative right-brains, the experienced and the inexperienced, those who talk and those who act. So why, we wonder, does the corporate environment not encourage more the employing of entrepreneurs, who are often by nature initiators, trailblazers, hard workers and visionaries?

We know that the qualities exhibited in an entrepreneur include passion, confidence, self-reliance and self-motivation. They need to have drive and goal orientation, energy and persistence, plus a willingness to take calculated risks. They usually show a solid work ethic and are more often than not solution-seekers rather than problemsolvers. They are able to enjoy a variety of work, plus the challenge of being able to source, secure and execute the work themselves. Are we describing the ideal employee?

The obvious and attractive advantage of being an entrepreneur are often the reasons that employers lose valuable employees as they are lured to what they believe will be greener pastures.

A solution exists. If you are a leader, in an effort to create balance in your working team, consider harnessing the energies and talents of those who may be suited to having their own business. If you are a successful business owner you may see another “you” in your team!

Entrepreneurs who are operating in the corporate playing field have been termed “intrapreneurs”. They are allowed sufficient scope for making their own decisions. They are seen to have a resulting elevated pride in their work. Once allowed a creative environment, an individual can flourish. Leaders and business owners, it is your responsibility to provide the appropriate environment, guidance and freedom. Sometimes just giving employees greater flexibility will reward an employer with greater loyalty.

It is important for employers to allow the principles of entrepreneurship to be exercised by allowing individuals to operate a division as if they own it, giving them sufficient authority to “own” their own cost centre or department. The result – they grow as individuals and so too, does the company. Their growth will ultimately be reflected in the bottom line.

  • Jenny Handley, author of Raise your profile, is a brand strategist and speaker: For details visit www.jennyhandley.co.za

CAREER TIMES Monday, April 19, 2010

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