We often say that the most important thing for a business project is the skills of the team of entrepreneurs, even above the idea or the model of business. But what do these skills consist of? Which abilities or attitudes are necessary to undertake successfully?
The psychologist David McClelland interviewed hundreds of successful entrepreneurs in different countries and labor markets to understand their motivations, identify common behaviors, and determine the key competencies that distinguish successful entrepreneurs from the rest.
As a result of the investigation, McClelland identified the ten key competencies detailed here below.
- Initiative and search of opportunities
Good entrepreneurs see the opportunity while another see problems and take the initiative to do business. Before being bound by events, they are searching for new markets, new customers, new products, services, and resources.
Successful entrepreneurs are perseverant and never surrender against the barriers: when the rest leaves, they go ahead. They persist in their objectives, adapt strategies to the evolution of the environment, and are responsible for reaching them.
- Fulfilment of the commitments
Great entrepreneurs always do what they set to do: they keep their word despite making extraordinary efforts and personal sacrifices. They are strongly committed to completing their work, satisfying their customers, and prioritizing long-term relationships to immediate earnings.
- High quality and efficiency
Successful entrepreneurs are enthusiastic and feel proud of themselves in respect of work. They are obsessed with finding ways to produce better products and services more quickly and efficiently. Hence, they do their best to meet and exceed the excellence criteria on their job and apply the essential procedures to finish on time and with the required quality level.
- Calculated risk-taking
One of the distinguishing features of the entrepreneur is the capacity to take risks by evaluating the consequences. The best entrepreneurs are placed in positions that involve moderate risks; they calculate them, explore alternatives, take measures to reduce them, and monitor the results.
- Goal setting
Good entrepreneurs know what they want, think about the future, and know where to go. Specific long-term goals and quantifiable short-term goals are set, which pose a personal challenge.
- Search of information
The best entrepreneurs personally verify the hypotheses with which they work, avoid assumptions, and spend a lot of time looking for information about customers, competitors, suppliers, opportunities, or technology and asking for some expert advice when they need to.
- Systematic planning and monitoring
Successful entrepreneurs decide in advance what they are going to do, evaluate the feasibility of their plans, divide large tasks into sub-areas with well-defined responsibilities, and provide indicators to help them adapt strategies to results.
- Persuasion and contacts
Great entrepreneurs use well-defined strategies to influence the behavior of others by convincing them to do what they want to. Then, they establish a good network of contacts and use it to achieve their aims.
- Independence and self-confidence
The best entrepreneurs are optimistic, trust themselves, feel sure of their possibilities, set themselves ambitious challenges, and accept the responsibility for achieving these challenges, regardless of the actions of others. They do not like neither rules nor control and assume their successes and failures without blaming others.
All entrepreneurs have these competencies, more or less developed; what helps to undertake successfully is to test them and make them improve consciously, day by day, in a planned way, training and leaving the comfort zone, with perseverance and continuous evaluation.
So, practice your entrepreneurial skills and you are going to say: “I am what I want to be!”