Entrepreneurial Leadership -R Risk, the real drive of the entrepreneurship

The entrepreneurial leader is one who risks, alone.

To start up, to manage and to bring an enterprise to success implies risks for one’s career, finance and, quite frankly, one’s health, too. This natural propensity for risk is not to be confused with the propensity to risk for profit, which is typical of speculators, of those who risk buying and selling shares for pure profit.

The entrepreneur risks to fulfill their project. They risk to leave a trace on the market, on the world, to create an enterprise that not only is profitable but also gives visibility and social prestige, a reality that shows their worth as people and as leaders to the world.

Being an entrepreneurial leader is a challenge and involves risks, every day, in every decision. Some may be evident, some are more subtle, but like Zuckerberg (and many others) said multiple times: “The biggest risk is not taking any risk”.

Being an entrepreneur implies the risk of making mistakes, of having the wrong insight about the market, the clients and their needs. Some risks concern the choice of people with whom to do business, it could be the wrong partners or unsuitable collaborators. Richard Branson recently said: “Risk is an essential element in business as well as in life. If you don’t take risks, you won’t achieve anything.

That said, a leader never takes reckless steps that may threaten their company’s life. They don’t like feeling exposed. Their idea of risk is that of a “calculated risk” and they carefully consider the ratio between the risks and the chance they want to take, collecting and analyzing all the information and pondering pros and cons of the eventual negative and positive outcome.

What exactly is the decision to risk based on? It is based on the leader’s trust in their intuition, on the so called ‘nose for business’ and on their ability to create original economic connections between the needs of the market and the technical-productive abilities of their company.
However, trust alone is not enough to justify a risk. An entrepreneurial leader is able to stand the stress that derives from investing all they had into the effort and involving other people in their project. To stand the stress means they avoid conveying them to their collaborators, choosing instead a positive, enthusiastic attitude to spread within the organization.

The propensity for risk is another distinctive element of entrepreneurial leadership and it is most certainly an innate tract of one’s character, together with the ‘nose for business’.

Angelo Vergani
Contract Manager s.r.l.