Hallmarks of Successful Entrepreneurs (An Asian Perspective)
Are there qualities common to leading entrepreneurs like Steve Jobs?
As the world continues to moan over the demise of Apple head honcho Steve Jobs, numerous articles have been written about his entrepreneurial legacy. These cover the length and breadth of his astounding career as one of the century's greatest CEOs.
While reflecting upon this, a thought occurred to me. Are there certain intrinsic qualities in entrepreneurs that make them who they are? What could we observe about their personalities, emotional make-up and life views that makes them different from the rest of us?
Looking back on my own experience in dealing with successful entrepreneurs, and what I know of them, I've noted that there are certain qualities embodied by leading entrepreneurs that shape and mould them. While many of us do have these traits in different quantities, winning entrepreneurs have them in spades.
What are the most definitive characteristics of these business leaders?
For a start, entrepreneurs are usually more assertive and outspoken than your average Joe. They are normally slightly louder and more vocal in any social or professional setting than your salaried staff, asserting themselves in their respective niches. Being able to speak your mind is an important trait of entrepreneurship - you cannot be a wall flower if you want a thousand flowers to bloom.
Winning entrepreneurs are naturally imaginative and curious. On average, they ask a lot more questions, and do not shy away from probing more deeply in a group learning context. They are also more "kaypoh" than others, and are often engaged in gossip and discussions that not only serve to strengthen their networks, but help them to uncover critically important information. With eyes and ears wide open, they scan the landscape looking for opportunities and observing everything around them.
Being business folks, good entrepreneurs are also highly numerate. They have an uncanny feel for financial figures like sales, cost of goods sold, employee salaries, percentages, SKUs, volume and visitor traffic. After all, money is the lifeblood of business and any entrepreneur worth his or her salt ought to know how the money is made and the bills are paid.Continued on the next page