Entrepreneurs are the source of most job creation, economic growth and innovation in the world. They are critical players in the global economy and their role in generating prosperity and growth across the globe continues to increase.
Ernst & Young, founders of the prestigious Entrepreneur of the Year Program, realized that there was no universal definition of entrepreneurship or a definitive list of traits and behaviors of the world's most successful entrepreneurial leaders. They decided to use current research, in-depth interviews with winners of Entrepreneur of the Year Program, and a survey of 685 entrepreneurs worldwide to build a model and remedy that problem.
The results of their work - a look at the personal brand attributes and skills of successful entrepreneurial leaders from around the world - is a report entitled, "Nature or nurture? Decoding the DNA of the entrepreneur".
COMMON TRAITS OF SUCCESSFUL ENTREPRENEURS WORLDWIDE
Ernst & Young's research revealed that successful entrepreneurial leaders do share some common traits. This is a diagram of the Ernst and Young model they say describes an exceptional entrepreneurial leader.
At the core there is a belief that you can make things happen through your own actions - what Ernst & Young calls a "locus of control" - located in the center of the diagram. (I call it personal responsibility.) And there is a also a mindset that looks for opportunities, can accept calculated risks and tolerate failure.
The report shares that though no one need be born with these qualities to have them, culture does play a role in nurturing these qualities in people. For example, in places like the US and Taiwan, it is expected that failure from taking risks is a part of starting and growing a business. So entrepreneurs operating in such cultures will likely actively pursue risk as it is seen as a part of achieving success. Whereas in France, Germany and Asia, failure in business can have a serious stigma. So entrepreneurs in those cultures may be conditioned to be more risk averse as a result.
The other six important qualities shared by successful entrepreneurs globally identified in the Ernst & Young study (pie slices in the diagram) are persistence, passion, living your values, being an independent thinking and a team player, finding niches and market gaps and knowing how to build an "ecosystem" to support success.
The very outer ring of Ernst & Young's model names attributes held by exceptional entrepreneurial leaders discovered in their development of the Ernst & Young's Exceptional Enterprise model. These attributes (in my opinion mostly just natural expressions of the six aforementioned qualities) are: vision, passion, drive, integrity, innovation, risk-taking, resilience, proactive, customer focus, teamwork, flexibility, relentless commitment to quality and loyalty.
COMMON TO ENTREPRENEURS OR TO ALL SUCCESSFUL PEOPLE?
What I find interesting is many of these qualities and skills you'd likely find on a list of traits of the most successful professionals. I'm not sure it is possible to be succeed professionally without having a vision or goals for your career and the persistence and drive pursue them. If you don't believe you can make things happen and are not proactive enough in the pursuit of quality or keeping the customer or client happy, what sort of job performance could you expect? If you are not open to new ideas or flexible enough to work with others, how can you effectively work with and contribute to your team or project's efforts? If you are not passionate about what you do or get the support you need to succeed, how can you expect to be motivated or equipped to overcome challenges that are a part of any job?
So it would seem that the Ernst & Young report has provided a list of top personal brand attributes and skills for the successful entrepreneurial leader AND professional and executive worldwide. Given we are all CEOs of our own careers in the new world of work, it makes perfect sense.
How many of these personal brand attributes and skills describe you and what you can do?
If your top personal brand attributes and skills do not map to this list, don't worry - you are not destined to mediocrity.
As Maria Pinelli, the Global Vice Chair Strategic Growth Markets for Ernst & Young explained in their report, “Entrepreneurial leaders are defined as much by their business experience, cultural background and external environment as they are by any innate personal characteristics. Nurture not nature does appear to be more important in shaping the entrepreneurial leader mindset.”
So you CAN work to develop many of the qualities and skills that extensive research shows are held by the top performers globally. The real question is - are you willing to do what it takes to develop them?
EXPAT CAREER AND BUSINESS SUCCESS TIP: Are you an aspiring expat professional, executive or entrepreneurial leader but don't believe you have what it takes to succeed overseas? Do you want to work abroad but think that having an international career is a pipe dream?
First, sit for a moment and consider that extensive and expert research has indicated that the list of qualities and skills held by successful leaders world is above - AND that many of these qualities and skills can be developed or nurtured in people.
Second, run through the list of qualities and skills above and note how many of those brand attributes and skills you possess.
Third, for those personal brand attributes and skills you don't current have, make a list of ways you can develop or nurture them within yourself.
For those of you with all the qualities and skills of successful entrepreneurial, professional and executive leaders - go out there and strategically leverage all of them to be more successful by being yourself!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ career by choice can help you...become an expat and experience a global lifestyle ~ explore international career options and find work abroad ~ understand your Brand DNA and how you perform at your best ~ clarify your personal brand so you can stand out and be sought after for top jobs overseas ~ develop marketing tools and strategies to communicate your unique expertise in a compelling way ~ strengthen your online reputation to attract employers and secure international jobs ~ become highly visible, recognized and well compensated for the value you create ~ overcome challenges and grow as a leader on international assignments ~ leverage social media to build your global online network ~ develop a global mindset ~ find an international career coach and experienced guide ~ conduct an international job search ~ optimize your choices and discover success abroad on your terms by being your best self. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~