The problem is that a lot of people think they are entrepreneurial when in fact they are not.
It is not as simple as saying you are entrepreneurial, it is showing others that you are entrepreneurial. Your thinking and actions must be in alignment.
Like those who started their careers during the high tech era, I was fortunate to work for two of the most entrepreneurial companies at the time 3M and Hewlett-Packard. They both left an entrepreneurial imprint that stayed with me throughout my career. They taught me how to be entrepreneurial.
Today, all the rhetoric about intrapreneurs, social intrapreneurs, corporate entrepreneurs and entrepreneurial leaders makes everyone think they need to self identify with one of these labels. They may be doing an injustice to themselves and their organizations by adopting a label that does not fit.
One executive recruiter told me that a lot of individuals are putting intrapreneur, corporate entrepreneur, or entrepreneurial leader on their resume. It has clouded the situation and raised questions about the true entrepreneurial capabilities of candidates.
In my work, I see more and more employees thinking like entrepreneurs but their actions still do not live up to their words. This may be a reflection of the culture they work in or be attributed to their own reluctance to take action that may be outside the boundaries of what is deemed acceptable behavior.
The same is true for senior leaders. Over the last five years senior executives have scored higher on entrepreneurial thinking while their score on entrepreneurial action has gotten worse. As the world has gotten more uncertain, leaders are playing it safe and pulling back.
The gap between entrepreneurial thinking and action has gotten wider since the economy hit the skids.
Perhaps the current buzz about the fact “we all need to be entrepreneurs now “has gone to our heads, not to our feet. At HP we had a saying “walk the talk,” at 3M it was “do what it takes.”
Fortunately, we have a new generation in the workforce that is naturally entrepreneurial, the millennial. They believe that anything is possible and they take actions to prove their point. Sometimes they act before they think, but they act.
It may be time that organizations take a closer look at the millennial as a role model for entrepreneurial thinking and action. They are wired with an entrepreneurial orientation.
Being more entrepreneurially oriented is something that we must all strive to achieve if we ever want to close the gap between what we are and what we could be as individuals and organizations.
Isn’t time you found out how entrepreneurial you really are!
The Corporate Entrepreneur Profile™ provides an accurate assessment of the entrepreneurial competencies of individuals and has been the basis for our analysis.