Important entrepreneurial traits or competencies:
Whenever we are looking around, we find certain entrepreneurs doing exceedingly well. They are managing their enterprises very well and are out to make them grand success. The various questions that normally arise are —who are they ? what they possess ? and various other questions related with their style of functioning. In their case there is a judicious mixture of knowledge, skill and personality. All these are called entrepreneurial traits or competencies. Knowledge refers to the collection and retention of information about any job or activity. Knowledge forms the basis for any action. Only knowledge cannot ensure success.
Success depends upon the ability or skill of using the acquired knowledge for achieving desired results. Skill refers to practical application or use of the knowledge. Thus performance depends upon both knowledge and skill. Motivation is an inner urge in an individual which calls for action. According to Steneir "A motive is an inner state that energizes, activates or moves and directs or channels behaviour goals." It is this inner urge in an individual to achieve his/her goal which David McClelland has termed as 'Achievement Motivation'. It is this urge to achieve goal which prompts the individual to perform better and better. Thus in order to achieve success in any venture a person must possess a judicious combination of knowledge, skill and motive.
Entrepreneurship Development Institute of India [EDI] conducted a study under the guidance of Professor David C McClelland, a reputed behavioral scientist in three countries namely India, Malawi and Equador. It was found out that possession of certain competencies or abilities result in superior performance. An entrepreneur may possess certain competencies and at the same time it is possible to develop these through training, experience and guidance. Various competencies required for superior performance were identified during the study and are as under.
1. Initiative : It is an inner urge in an individual to do or initiate something. There is popular saying 'Well begun is half done'. It is the entrepreneur who takes or initiates the first move towards setting up of an enterprise. Most of the innovators have got this urge to do something different. Entrepreneur basically is an innovator who carries out new combinations to initiate and accelerate the process of economic development.
2. Looking for Opportunity : An entrepreneur is always on the look out or searching for opportunity and is ready to exploit it in the best interests of the organisation.
3. Persistence : An entrepreneur is never disheartened by failures. He believes in the Japanese proverb 'Fall seven times, stand up eight'. He follows Try-Try Again for overcoming the obstacles that come in the way of achieving goals.
4. Information Seeker : A successful entrepreneur always keep his eyes and ear open and is receptive to new ideas which can help him in realizing his goals. He is ready to consult expert for getting their expert advise.
5. Quality Consciousness : Successful entrepreneurs do not believe in moderate or average performance. They set high quality standards for themselves and then put in their best for achieving these standards. They believe in excellence, which is reflected in everything they do.
6. Commitment to Work : Successful entrepreneurs are prepared to make all sacrifices for honoring the commitments they have made. Whatever they commit, they take it is a moral binding for honoring their commitments, irrespective of the costs involved.
7. Commitment to efficiency : Top performers are always keen to devise new methods aimed at promoting efficiency. They are keen to evolve and try new methods aimed at making working easier, simpler, better and economical.
8. Proper Planning : Successful entrepreneurs develop or evolve future course of action keeping in mind the goals to be realized. They believe in developing relevant and realistic plans and ensure proper execution of the same in their pursuit of attaining their goals.
9. Problem Solver : Successful entrepreneurs take problem as a challenge and put in their best for Finding out the most appropriate solution for the same. They will first of all understand the problem and then evolve appropriate strategy for overcoming the problem.
10. Self Confidence : Top performers are not cowed down by difficulties as they believe in their own abilities and strengths. They have full faith on their knowledge, skill and competence and arc not worried about future uncertainties.
11. Assertive : An assertive person knows what to say, when to say, how to say and whom to say. He believes in his abilities and ensures that others fall in line with his thinking, aimed at promoting the interests of the organisation.
12. Persuasive : A successful entrepreneur through his sound arguments and logical reasoning is in a position to convince others to do the works the way he wants them to do. It is not physical but intellectual force he will use for convincing others.
13. Effective Monitoring : Top performers ensure that everything is carried out in their organisations as per their wishes. They ensure regular monitoring of the working so that the goals of the organisation are achieved in best possible manner.
14. Employees Welfare : Future of the organisation depends on its employees. If the employees are dedicated, committed and loyal, the organisation is bound to perform well. A successful entrepreneur tries to promote organization's interests through promotion of interests of the workers. He takes personal interest in solving problems confronting workers and generates the feeling that there is interpendence of the interests of workers and the management.
15. Effective Strategist : A successful entrepreneur possesses the ability to evolve relevant strategy, aimed at safeguarding or promoting organisation's interests. Strategy may be with respect to facing future uncertainties or challenges posed by competitors.