I’ve long felt like there’s a link between entrepreneurship and leadership.

It’s easy to think of famous entrepreneurs who are highly effective leaders like Richard Branson, Jeff Bezos, or Steve Jobs. However, you’ve probably encountered many entrepreneurs who aren’t leaders at all or are terrible at that role.

In trying to better understand the nature of entrepreneurship, I spent a couple of years asking entrepreneurs what they thought the core skill of entrepreneurship was. People would answer:

  • Marketing
  • Sales
  • System development
  • Leadership

These all are flawed analysis because none of them are essential to entrepreneurship. The answer that ended this questioning was that entrepreneurs are people who increase the value of resources.

This is where the link to leadership is, because you could make a case that leaders are people who increase the value of people.

Bezos and Jobs both have a reputation for being terrible to work for. However, they both also have an excellent track record at employing people (leadership) to drive innovation (entrepreneurship).

I’m not suggesting that you adopt their tyrannical leadership style. Just that for any business that utilizes people to create value, there is an amplifying dimension in leadership. It’s a force multiplier. And it’s going to effect you negatively or positively depending on your business’s capacity in this regard.

If your business doesn’t have a leader, or is mediocre, building this capacity is a growth opportunity that can boost profit and drive innovation.

Featured image is a Jacob’s Staff, a 14th century instrument to determine latitude by John Seller (1603-1697) used under Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons