A great leader not only thinks like an entrepreneur or owner of the business but also encourages employees to think like entrepreneurs.
Building a sustainable business needs continuous innovation in product, service, process, measuring outcomes, and managing people. Only employees with an entrepreneurial mindset can deliver those innovations.
Freedom To Follow Their Intention -To encourage an entrepreneurial mindset, a leader needs to establish an environment of fearless culture that gives employees the confidence to explore his ideas. Employees need to be empowered to make specific decisions. Allow them to decide on continuing the project if they believed in it. Allow them to find the resources inside or outside the organisation without breaking any critical rules.
The benefits of having employees with the entrepreneurial mindset -
- The employee’s idea or innovation will ultimately create value for the customer, benefitting the company.
- They are capable of taking a company in a new direction. In the late 1970s, Intel was on the verge of being thrown out of memory business. The company tried everything. However, it’s market share was falling rapidly. At the same time, a small team with an entrepreneurial mindset kept experimenting and developed a new product called ‘microprocessor’. They went ahead and began selling in small quantities to some PC manufacturers. Intel’s CEO Andy Grove never interfered but allowed them to do what they believed. The team approached IBM and sold some of the processors. Fortunately, IBM found the product very valuable and began to order in large quantities. Soon, IBM’s competitors approached Intel and started ordering microprocessors. The sales exploded. It got Andy Grove’s attention. He felt that selling microprocessors would be a wise choice as the memory chip business’s future appeared bleak. He changed the direction of Intel. The company began to sell microprocessors and soon became a leader.
- The recognition of entrepreneurial employee’s work boosts morale and productivity of other employees.
- Whenever the employee with the entrepreneurial mindset encounters a problem, he or she would not wait for a leader or manager to provide a solution. They would find a way to solve the problem. They would happily take responsibility and accountability for the solution. It not only allows the leader to focus on critical jobs, but it will also improve the overall productivity of the company.
- The employee not only develops their selling skills but inspire others to try it. Ultimately, it would benefit the company.
- The entrepreneurial employee will persevere against every setback. His actions will inspire other employees.
- He or she will be continually looking to learn things which will also motivate his or her colleagues to take steps to improve their knowledge.
- An employee with an entrepreneurial mindset believes in himself/herself and has higher confidence levels. Their confidence is contagious. A leader can trust them with new roles and responsibilities.
- Recognition of entrepreneurial employee’s work increase employee engagement, retention, satisfaction, and loyalty.
Chuck House was one of the talented employees in the product development division of HP. He was working on a new display monitor and showed a prototype to Dave Packard. Dave studied the prototype and felt that it would not sell in the market. So, he asked Chuck to abandon the project. However, Chuck was not ready to quit. He revised the product and went on to show the new prototypes to potential customers and gathered their feedback. He was pleasantly surprised to discover that customers loved the product. Their interest prompted him to continue working on the project even though the management asked him to discontinue. He somehow convinced his manager to rush the monitor into production. The result -HP sold more than seventeen thousand display monitors within a short time. Dave presented Chuck House with a medal for ‘extraordinary contempt and defiance beyond the normal call of engineering duty’.
The above example shows how HP benefitted from encouraging the entrepreneurial mindset in an employee. It also proves that allowing executives, middle managers to make all the essential daily decisions would lead to a positive outcome for the company.
A leader can drive the company to great heights of success if he or she cultivates an entrepreneurial spirit within his or her employees.
The above content is part of the following book -
References: The HP Way by David Packard, Only Paranoid Will Survive by Andrew S. Grove, Jack-Straight From The Gut by Jack Welch.