Why every company should create Corporate Entrepreneurs

Any corporate person will tell you that to be a good manager, one has to have and practice the 6 management traits to be successful. These are:

1. LeadershipCorporate Entrepreneurs

2. Communication

3. Adaptability

4. Developing Other People

5. Building Relationships

6. Constant Development

So yes, these are important when one is employed to run a department or even a company. These are very necessary when their mandate is to ensure profitability of their department, to ensure employees are doing their work, and ensuring that all the paperwork is in line with the company’s processes.

However, when all these boxes are ticked, the manager gets rewarded with a bigger department consisting of more employees and a fancier title with a bigger office on the 6th floor. This process gets repeated until our manager becomes too old for the job and goes into retirement to the coast.

Sitting on the patio overlooking the sea, our manager looks back at what he has achieved in his life – his story: being a highly paid manager that was responsible for a big department.


The question I always ask is, “What value did he really make in the company?

How different will the picture really look if we turn the manager into a Corporate Entrepreneur?

What would happen if we placed Richard Branson on the patio next to our manager? Corporate Entrepreneurs1

How different would their stories be?



So how would your organisation fare if your managers could think like a Corporate Entrepreneur?

Corporate Entrepreneurs do share a collection of these management characteristics, however, they require the ability to take risk, demonstrate initiative to ensure a successful venture as well as the following traits:

1.   Tenacity

Corporate Entrepreneurs constantly thrive under the cloak of uncertainty. They have the tenacity which helps in dealing with the repeated challenges they experience day in and day out. They have perseverance, persistence, determination, commitment, resilience. They know they are the ones who create control.

2.   Passion

They are not always driven by money, but are driven by a passion for their product or service, by the opportunity to solve a problem and make life easier, better, cheaper. They believe they will change the world. Their passion in what they’re doing is what gets them through these challenges.

3.   Tolerance of ambiguity

This is where the risk-taking comes in. Corporate Entrepreneurs have the ability to master the Fear Factor; withstand the fear of uncertainty and potential failure. It is really the art of successfully managing the daily fears; fear of humiliation, fear of missing payroll, running out of cash, bankruptcy, the list goes on. This is where the ultimate entrepreneurial test takes place: on the mental battlefield. Managers do go with the fear – but then they quit, but the Corporate Entrepreneur will take it on and push through it. The Corporate Entrepreneur looks at the situation and knows he has some control over the outcome.

4.   Vision

A defining trait of entrepreneurship is the ability to identify an opportunity and explore something where others haven’t. Corporate Entrepreneurs identify niches that managers overlook and puts them at the forefront of innovation and emerging fields. They visualise another world and have the ability to communicate that vision effectively to investors, customers and staff. Their world is several steps ahead of the market.

5.   Self-belief

Their belief in what they do is so strong that it rides on the back of self-confidence. Researchers define this trait as task-specific confidence. This strong belief helps to overcome the risk factor. The energy created is so contagious that others are sucked in willingly and enthusiastically.

6.   Flexibility

The Corporate Entrepreneur success depends on adaptation. How things were originally planned, may never end up looking the same. This level of flexibility creates the response to the ever-changing market conditions and the environment and staying on top and in control.

7.   Rule-breaking

This is one factor that scares the Executive in many organisations. The Corporate Entrepreneur exists to defy conventional thinking. Doing what others are not doing is the natural way the Corporate Entrepreneur operates – yet they get results and are the ones responsible for taking organisations to the next level and seeing it through.


Can your company afford NOT having a Corporate Entrepreneur? Certain managers can be trained to become a Corporate Entrepreneur.

See how this can be done. Click here.


  1. Elaine Seale McKend

    Great article I have certainly noticed these differences in leaders I have worked with particularly around the fear factor and those willing to break the ruses to bring about positive change


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