Leadership vs. Entrepreneurship; What’s the difference?

What’s the difference between leadership & entrepreneurship? And how does it relate to innovation? Those are just some of the questions posed to me this past weekend, and they’re important ones since mistaking them can get your business into real trouble.

Let’s take a look at Leadership first

Leadership, and I love this definition from Wikipedia, is described as the process of social influence in which one person can enlist the aid and support of others in the accomplishment of a common task, where as “effective leadership” includes the ability to successfully integrate and maximize available resources within the internal and external environment for the attainment of organizational or societal goals.

If in the first part of that definition social influence is the most predominant characteristic of leadership, than in order for effective leadership to take place it must be a process that integrates & maximizes available resources to attain a predefined goal.

Anything less than achieving a predefined outcome is simply wasted energy.

What about Entrepreneurship?

Back to our friends at Wikipedia who state; entrepreneurship is the act of being an entrepreneur, which can be defined as “one who undertakes innovations, finance and business acumen in an effort to transform innovations into economic goods”. This may result in new organizations or may be part of revitalizing mature organizations in response to a perceived opportunity.

The most obvious form of entrepreneurship is that of starting new businesses (referred as Startup Company); however, in recent years, the term has been extended to include social and political forms of entrepreneurial activity. When entrepreneurship is describing activities within a firm or large organization it is referred to as intra-preneurship and may include corporate venturing, when large entities spin-off organizations.

What’s the role of innovation?

The central meaning of innovation relates to renewal or improvement, with novelty being a consequence of this improvement.

What does it all mean?

A successful entrepreneur doesn’t necessarily have to be a good leader as long as they recognize how they deliver the greatest value to their organization and successfully execute on that. In fact, most successful entrepreneurs have hired or delegated to others the role of leadership.

However, a successful leader must be entrepreneurial, as well as innovative, as they need to undertake innovations, finance and business acumen in their social influence effort to transform activities into economic goods and or results for their organization, with innovation being a critical component in order to achieve continual renewal and or improvement when achieving predefined business outcomes.

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