Critical analysis of skills and competencies as an Entrepreneur
The role of entrepreneurship for business managers has dramatically increased due to the rapidly intensifying level of competition fuelled by the forces of globalisation, technological advancement and other factors. Moreover, it has to be stated that “entrepreneurship is important because it is the economic mechanism through which inefficiencies in economies are identified and mitigated” (Baum et al, 2007, p.5).
The term of entrepreneur is a widely used within business literature within different contexts. At the same time, it is important to note that there is a great level of ambiguity is associated with the definition of the term. Specifically, American, Austrian, German, French and British schools have offered their own versions of definitions that differ from each other. Regarding this issue it has been stated that “although no single definition of entrepreneurship exists and no one profile can represent today’s entrepreneur, research is beginning to provide an increasingly sharper focus on the subject” (Kuratko and Hodgetts, 2008, p.4).
This article represents a critical analysis of skills and competencies of the author in terms of being an entrepreneur. The article analyses three major points of strengths of the author as an entrepreneur, providing evidences from relevant experiences, as well as identifies three major areas that need to be further developed.
Personal Strengths and Competencies
The author possesses a set of strengths and competencies and believes that these traits have a positive contribution on performance of the author as an entrepreneur. Chakraborty (2006) divides entrepreneurial competencies into the following three categories: behavioural, enterprise launching and enterprise management competencies. The author believes that own personal strengths and competencies to each of the above category and they include, but not limited to willingness to take risk and responsibility, advanced level of communication skills, and having great amount of passion towards work.
Willingness to take Risk and Responsibility
Willingness to take calculated risks and responsibility for the risk can be rightly specified as one the main strengths points of the author in terms of being an effective entrepreneur. Dlabay et al (2011) confirms this viewpoint by specifying the willingness to take risks as one of the compulsory attributes of entrepreneurship. There are many examples in professional and personal life of the author to illustrate this point.
In a professional life the author has changed the sphere of employment several times without hesitation in order to gain a wide range of professional experiences and thus identify true area of interest and determine the direction of a professional career in a suitable manner. Specifically, the work experiences of the author involve running a fashion clothes shop at Taobao (a Chinese version of eBay and Amazon), employment in an HR position, as well as, tutoring high school students maths, English and Chinese languages.
Each of the above positions the author has worked in require different set of skills and capabilities in order to be successful, and while acknowledging this fact, the author has taken the risk of experimenting with all this positions in order to identify the area of true interests in terms of choosing the career direction. As a result, the author has identified business management at a large scale to be an interesting career direction to pursue.
There is no doubt that the willingness to take calculated risks on the basis of logic, analysis and personal intuition and taking personal responsibility for the results is going to maximise the chances of success of the author in the future as an effective entrepreneur taking into account the increasing level of uncertainty associated with the marketplace along many industries.
Advanced Level of Communication Skills
The author also possesses communication skills in an advanced manner and can rightfully highlight this fact as another point of strengths in terms of being an effective entrepreneur. It has been stressed that “since entrepreneurs must accomplish much of their tasks through other people, their ability to work with, communicate with, and understand others is important. Effective communication, written or verbal, is vital for venture performance” (Duening et al, 2009, p.431).
Effective communication skills possessed by the author has enabled the formation of a large list of social contacts that include former and present colleagues, childhood friends, and many others. Specifically, the author can be described as confident enough to initiate conversations with unfamiliar people, make presentations in front of group, and most importantly communicate own agenda in an effective and confident manner.
The author has benefited from effective communication skills in many levels including having numerous friends, effectively participating in several job interviews and securing positions as described above and being a popular individual within own social circles.
This specific skill is going to create a competitive edge for the author as an entrepreneur in the future where messages need to be communicated to the various stakeholders of the business that have different needs and expectations. Most importantly, effective communication skills are compulsory for entrepreneurs for attracting investments in order to finance for business projects.
The author of this paper has tremendous passion towards business and believes that personal passion at such level would play an integral role in terms of becoming a successful entrepreneur at a global scale in the future. It is an undisputed fact that the most successful entrepreneurs in the world such as late Steve Jobs of Apple, Bill Gates of Microsoft, and Warren Buffet of Berkshire Hathaway are the individuals that have great passion towards their business projects and enterprises and their passion have played one of the most significant role to the achievement of their levels.
The same viewpoint is supported by the majority of the most notable business researchers with the statements like “for the entrepreneur, one of the strongest historical influences is his or her own consistency of involvement with and passion for his or her particular project. While this may initially reside the individual, research has shown that the development of this passion and desire to be entrepreneur really is a communal result due to the entrepreneur’s interactions regarding this topic with others he or she trusts” (Heene, 2010, p.215).
Therefore, there are solid reasons to believe that due to the great level of passion of the author of this paper towards business management, the author has good chances of becoming a successful entrepreneur in the future.
Areas Needed to be Further Developed
Along with a set of skills and competencies possessed by the author as discussed above there are also certain areas that need to be further developed in order to be able to compete in a highly competitive marketplace as an effective entrepreneur. The role of constant self-development is stressed by Marr (2009), who encourages business managers to be identifying and addressing their weaknesses in a regular basis.
Namely, the areas for further development identified for the author include the development of the level of personal creativity, increasing the level of tolerance for ambiguity and the development of leadership skills.
Developing the Level of Personal Creativity
The importance of creativity for entrepreneurs in terms of developing business ideas and implementing them has dramatically increased because of the intensive level of competition in the marketplace. Moreover, creativity may also play a significant role in terms of ensuring competitive edge for the business.
At the same time, the author has to admit not possessing this specific trait in an exceptional manner, and thus creativity can specified as an area to be further developed for the author.
Creativity has been described as “an emergent property, arising from the necessary interaction of humans (whether naturally or of their own making). This emergent interaction may or may not be recognised at the level of individuals, organisations, disciplines or society in general” (Stokes et al, 2010, p.186).
There are countless examples for how entrepreneurs were able to achieve considerable success through their creativity. One of the most distinguished examples relate to entrepreneur Alex Tew from UK, who was able to generate more than million US dollars through displaying high level of creativeness. Specifically, Alex Tew arranged the homepage of the website milliondollarhomepage.com into 1000×1000 pixel grids and priced each pixel for one dollar in 10×10 blocks.
Increasing the Level of Tolerance for Ambiguity
Tolerance for ambiguity represents another point where the author of this paper needs to be further developed as an entrepreneur. It has been clarified that “tolerance for ambiguity involves accepting and developing a level of comfort with situations where variables, alternatives, and outcomes are unclear or poorly defined” (AMAI, online, 2011).
The author of this work has mainly worked in environments where there was a minimum level of ambiguity in terms of decision making. However, the rapidly changing factors within the modern marketplace create situation for entrepreneurs have to make decisions while a range of factors remain uncertain. Moreover, ensuring the adjustment of strategic plans of the company upon the emergence of new situations within the marketplace has become one of the basic requirements of surviving in competition.
Therefore, the author needs to develop necessary skills and competencies in order to be able to take business decisions in an environment where not all of the information is available and moreover, to be able to spot new business opportunities within uncertain environments.
Development of Leadership Skills
Leadership skills of the author need to be dramatically improved in order to be an effective entrepreneur. Almost no business project can be successfully implemented by any individual alone without attracting additional workforce; therefore entrepreneurs need to be strong and effective leaders at the same time if their business ideas are to take off to produce desired results.
It needs to be noted that the author possesses some leadership skills, but acknowledges the need for these skills to be dramatically increased in order to achieve distinctive results as an entrepreneur.
It is also important to specify that “leadership is concerned with pointing the way. It is focused far more on the destination than on the details of getting there. Entrepreneurs must convey their vision of the firm’s future to others in the business so that all involved can contribute to the accomplishment of the mission” (Hogan, 2009, p.xiv)
Many real-life case studies can be mentioned where charismatic and effective leaders have created competitive advantage for their enterprises through formulating a clear vision for the future of the company, specifying the place of each employee within the organisation within that picture and making sure that this vision is shared by them. Lee Iacocca, Jack Welch and Richard Branson deserve to be specifically mentioned as bright examples of such type of leaders.
In conclusion it can be stated that the author of this article is well placed to be a successful entrepreneur. It is true that a range of issues need to be addressed by the author such as developing the level of personal creativeness, increasing the level of tolerance for ambiguity, and working on the development of the leadership skills in order to allow this plan to happen.
However, the author feels confident that such personal qualities possessed by the author as willingness to learn, willingness to take risks and responsibilities, advanced level of communication skills, and above all having great passion for business management will allow the author to address the issues specified above efficiently and become a successful entrepreneur in a global scale. It is just a matter of time.
- Ambiguity: The Fertile Ground of Problem Solving, AMAI, Available at: http://www.actionm.com/articles_ambiguity.aspx Accessed October, 30, 3011
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