The Entrepreneurial Spirit
By msameson3, May 10 2017 05:39AM
The workplace is dramatically evolving in this 21st century era we are in. Roles are being created, amended, merged, or even done away with continually. Companies find themselves having to constantly evaluate performance, and the entire system has been taken up in a results-driven frenzy. As a result, organisations typically categorize their people into top performers, performers, average performers, weak performers, or non-performers (or at least some variation of these categories).
What separates workers in each of these categories? And what is the one thing that can move an employee up the ladder of the performance appraisal categories? That’s the focus of this article. I do hope that you will find this relatable, and that it will have a positive impact on you and your work ethic.
Let’s start with traditional definitions. An employee is an individual who is employed by an organisation, regardless of the type of organisation, whether a one-man business, a conglomerate, or a multinational. An entrepreneur, on the other hand, is someone who runs a business, assuming all the risks and earning all the rewards of that venture. These two definitions put people in two distinct categories, which most of the time can work as a limiting factor in the minds of those who may happen to fall into either category of employee or entrepreneur.
This post is not about which category is better, as we are of the opinion that it is more a question of individual strengths, weaknesses, potential, and long term goals. Also, there are employees who are also entrepreneurs, according to the traditional definitions of both terms, as stated above. That being said, however, it is generally believed in corporate culture that being an entrepreneur is “better” than being an employee. Some reasons for this might be:
- bigger payday
- more independence and flexibility
- more control of your time, expenses, etc.
There are a bunch of other reasons why being an entrepreneur is viewed as being “better” than being an employee. Let’s look at some of the characteristics of an entrepreneur versus an employee to help us understand this perception.
Focus exclusively on the task
Tunnel vision on their job
Wait for instructions
Do not go above and beyond to deliver
Take responsibility for only their own job
Shy away from leadership decisions for fear of consequence if it fails
Are driven by salary
Do not always consider implications of action/inaction for business profitability/growth
May be lackadaisical
Do not think like business managers
Focus on the goal
Holistic approach to their work
Give their all
Focus on his people’s needs
Own the process from start to end
Is willing to stick neck out by making tough calls for the business to improve
Are driven by the need to add value
Is very focused on the bottom line revenue/profits to ensure business continuity
Is very committed
Is a business manager in practice.
These differences are important, because they reveal some things about both classes. This list is, of course, not exhaustive, as there are many more other differences between them. The point here is that, the major difference between an entrepreneur and an employee is not in what they do, but in how they do it. There are certain behaviours that are exhibited by the entrepreneur, which are not seen in the employee, and vice versa.
There are employees of organisations who run a business on the side, perhaps to derive income from multiple streams. What will be most likely is that the employee may be sub-optimal in his role as an employee, and super-efficient in his role as an entrepreneur. This shows clearly that the defining distinction between an employee and an entrepreneur is majorly behavioural.
This behavioural distinction I refer to as the entrepreneurial spirit. The entrepreneurial spirit is that defining characteristic that will immediately help an employee distinguish himself among peers, and make him more productive and valuable to the organisation. The entrepreneurial spirit is not an attitude that is exclusively displayed by entrepreneurs. Indeed, there are entrepreneurs who are not driven and passionate, and their enterprise will clearly reflect that. This attitude, whether adopted by employee or entrepreneur, will immediately bring value to the person.
In this extremely competitive business environment, it is only such an attitude that will effectively move a person or a business ahead of the competition. Once you are ahead, it is the same attitude that will keep you there, making you a consistent top performer.
So, are you an entrepreneur, or an employee? Strive to imbibe the entrepreneurial spirit right away. It is the key ingredient to your success.
I wish you all the best as you put this into use!
P.S – Watch out for Part II