Leadership characteristics of a successful entrepreneur Essay
Leadership characteristics of a successful entrepreneur
Successful entrepreneurs are specialized types of leaders that have a definite set of leadership characteristics that make them good at what they do–motivate people. Successful entrepreneurs are usually very focused in their vision and are immersed in making their venture successful. A good entrepreneur uses a dynamic and charismatic approach to motivate their employees to feel the same sort of feelings of success that he or she feels towards the ultimate success of the business. Howard Shultz, the founder of Starbucks Corporation, uses a dynamic leadership style, charismatic personality and vision to propel Starbucks as the premiere specialty coffee house in America, and is well on the way to becoming the global name for specialty coffee houses.
Entrepreneurs, by the very nature of the definition, are self-starters that are highly motivated to make their business successful. Most people that start their own business do so because they have the personal drive to put their own ideas into a business venture. It takes a very motivated individual with personal convictions to make a business become a profitable and successful business. Obviously, if a person has enough gumption to take the steps to start their own business, then they are, by nature, very motivated individuals that want to make their project succeed. People who are not highly motivated will not become entrepreneurs or will more than likely fail if they try to make a half-hearted attempt to start their own business. To make a business succeed requires a vision of where the company should be after a specific time period. All entrepreneurs know in their mind what they would like their business to be in one year or five years or ten years. Successful entrepreneurs have a focused vision of what steps need to be taken to make their business succeed.
The very best entrepreneurs are not only motivated themselves, but are able to spread their motivation to others through a charismatic leadership approach. People that become successful entrepreneurs have the ability to make those around them get excited about the business, just like they are. If the people that work in a company are motivated to work towards making the company a success, then the company has a much better chance of becoming successful. All entrepreneurs are excited about their own business, but not all of them can get the people that work for them just as excited. A dynamic entrepreneur is able to motivate others to want to produce a better product or service because they provide the employees with motivation and direction.
Motivation is probably the single most important factor that an entrepreneur can provide to their employees, but creating a shared vision for all to work for is almost equally important. People will work harder for a company that has ideals and principles that they also believe in and share. Successful entrepreneurs are able to create a vision for the company; they provide a goal or ideal that employees and the public in general can relate to. By having a vision or ideal that the company is striving for, each employee feels that they are performing a vital function that eventually leads to the final goal. Employees will work hard to achieve a goal if they feel that a goal is worthwhile or somehow makes the world a better place. Companies usually state these in mission statements, with variations for whatever the company holds as an ideal, such as environmentalism or community service.
Howard Shultz, founder of Starbucks, is a very motivated individual that has a vision of what he would like Starbucks to become. The fact that Shultz coordinated 150 new Starbucks openings between 1987 and 1992 shows that he was very motivated to make Starbucks a national and eventually international success. Shultz’s vision for Starbucks has facilitated the opening of over 3,300 stores worldwide and Starbucks continues to grow at an extremely rapid pace.
Along with charisma and motivation, Howard Shultz possesses many leadership attributes, which make him a very successful leader and motivator. Shultz knows how to make people feel like they are doing something important. Selling coffee is not a vital function that is needed for life, but Shultz has made selling coffee seem important to those that work for Starbucks. Shultz created a policy that Starbucks will only purchase organically grown coffee beans. This one policy makes Starbucks seem like they are performing a service to the world by creating a market for coffee beans that aren’t responsible for damaging the environment. Environmentalists and even non-environmentalists agree that this is a good thing–even noble. The people that sell the Starbucks product feel a sense of pride for doing something for the environment. Starbucks also does other things that have the same effect, but on different populations.
Starbucks has a program that builds schools, community centers, etc, in the communities that Starbucks buys its coffee beans from. This type of activity appeals especially to socially conscious people that get reward from knowing that Starbucks is ‘giving something back to the community’ from which the coffee beans are taken. Another program, called the Urban Coffee Opportunities, offers inner city entrepreneurs an opportunity to bring a Starbucks to an inner city neighborhood in the hopes that a Starbucks business can spark financial growth and future business opportunities for inner city areas. This program also appeals to the socially conscious and creates a sense that Starbucks really cares about people and their communities. These programs are definitely good ideas and greatly enrich the lives of the people that they touch, but also serve as a basis to motivate employees as well as customers of Starbucks, which creates a better product and more sales for Starbucks.
http://h18004.www1.hp.com/products/customer_stories/starbucks.html; Accessed 10 Feb. 2004
http://www.starbucks.com/; Accessed 10 Feb. 2004