Not all entrepreneurs run their own business. In fact, you may have some entrepreneurs working for you in your organization.
The key is in spotting them, and making sure they’re using their strengths. Otherwise, they’ll become discouraged and want to leave. But if you can engage them with work that challenges and interests them, they’ll be your best problem solvers. They can be your key idea people.
In an interesting article on a Harvard Business Review blog, authors Bill and Ron Bonnstetter ask Who Are Your Organization’s Entrepreneurs? They identify two kinds of entrepreneurs who work in organizations:
Entrepreneurial-Minded People (EMPs): They tend to work well in teams, have an organized workplace and enjoy consistency. These individuals are happier within organizations or within a group of people working together to achieve a goal.
Serial Entrepreneurs (SEs): The second group is made up of potential serial entrepreneurs who have a desire to own their own business. Serial entrepreneurs tend to be more individualistic, have a greater sense of urgency and a desire to control.
Both entrepreneurial types are identified by a distinct challenge-orientation and improvement-focused mindset. But they differ in their attitudes towards control. EMPs are less concerned with the amount of control they can exert. They are happiest when they work collaboratively on a task, in a team, striving for solutions to complex or recurring problems.
The SE wishes to have ultimate control over her life and business. While happy to set direction for a company or team, serial entrepreneurs need to feel that their employer is not limiting their destiny.
Once you identify certain performers as SEs or EMPs, it’s your job as leader to retain them. They can become your super-stars, but only if you take good care of them.
They already possess the behaviors, attitudes, and values to build successful businesses. Your challenge is to tap into that and make them valued people in your company. What’s been your experience with entrepreneurs?