Saturday, July 23, 2011

Entrepreneur

An entrepreneur is a person who has possession of a new enterprise, venture or idea and is accountable for the inherent risks and the outcome of a product.[note 1] The term was originally a loanword from French and was first defined by the Irish-French economist Richard Cantillon. Entrepreneur in English is a term applied to a person who is willing to help launch a new venture or enterprise and accept full responsibility for the outcome. Jean-Baptiste Say, a French economist, is believed to have coined the word "entrepreneur" in the 19th century - he defined an entrepreneur as "one who undertakes an enterprise, especially a contractor, acting as intermediatory between capital and labor".[note 2] A broader definition by Say: "The entrepreneur shifts economic resources out of lower and into higher productivity and greater yield."

Leadership Attributes

The entrepreneur leads the firm or organization and also demonstrates leadership qualities by selecting managerial staff. Management skill and strong team building abilities are essential leadership attributes for successful entrepreneurs. Scholar Robert. B. Reich considers leadership, management ability, and team-building as essential qualities of an entrepreneur. This concept has its origins in the work of Richard Cantillon in his Essai sur la Nature du Commerce en (1755) and Jean-Baptiste Say [note 3] in his Treatise on Political Economy.

Entrepreneurs emerge from the population on demand, and become leaders because they perceive opportunities available and are well-positioned to take advantage of them. An entrepreneur may perceive that they are among the few to recognize or be able to solve a problem. Joseph Schumpeter saw the entrepreneur as innovators and popularized the uses of the phrase creative destruction to describe his view of the role of entrepreneurs in changing business norms. Creative destruction encompasses changes entrepreneurial activity makes every time a new process, product or company enters the markets.

Influences, Personality Traits, And Characteristics

The most significant influence on an individual's decision to become an entrepreneur is workplace peers and the social composition of the workplace. Entrepreneurs also often possess innate traits such as extroversion and a propensity for— risk-taking.—Nanda, R and Sorensen, J (2008) Workplace Peers and Entrepreneurship . According to Schumpeter, an entrepreneur characteristically innovates, introduces new technologies, increases efficiency, productivity, or generates new products or services. An entrepreneur acts as a catalyst for economic change and research indicates that entrepreneurs are highly creative individuals who imagine new solutions by generating opportunities for profit or reward.

There is a complexity and lack of cohesion between research studies that explore the characteristics and personality traits of, and influences on, the entrepreneur. Most studies, however, agree that there are certain entrepreneurial traits and environmental influences that tend to be consistent. Although certain entrepreneurial traits are required, entrepreneurial behaviors are dynamic and influenced by environmental factors. Shane and VenKataraman (2000) argue the entrepreneur is solely concerned with opportunity recognition and exploitation; however, the opportunity that is recognized depends on the type of entrepreneur which Ucbasaran et al. (2001) argue there are many different types dependent on their business and personal circumstances.

Psychological studies show that the psychological propensities for male and female entrepreneurs are more similar than different. Perceived gender differences may be due more to gender stereotyping. There is a growing body of work that shows that entrepreneurial behavior is dependent on social and economic factors. For example, countries which have healthy and diversified labor markets or stronger safety nets show a more favorable ratio of opportunity-driven rather than necessity-driven women entrepreneurs. Empirical studies suggest that women entrepreneurs possess strong negotiating skills and consensus-forming abilities.

New research regarding the qualities required for successful entrepreneurship is ongoing, with work from the Kauffman Foundation forming the statistical basis for much of it.

Types Of Entrepreneurs

Social Entrepreneur

A social entrepreneur is motivated by a desire to help, improve and transform social, environmental, educational and economic conditions. Key traits and characteristics of highly effective social entrepreneurs include ambition and a lack of acceptance of the status quo or accepting the world "as it is". The social entrepreneur is driven by an emotional desire to address some of the big social and economic conditions in the world, for example, poverty and educational deprivation, rather than by the desire for profit. Social entrepreneurs seek to develop innovative solutions to global problems that can be copied by others to enact change.[1]

Social entrepreneurs act within a market aiming to create social value through the improvement of goods and services offered to the community. Their main aim is to help offer a better service improving the community as a whole and are predominately run as nonprofit schemes. Zahra et al. (2009: 519) said that “social entrepreneurs make significant and diverse contributions to their communities and societies, adopting business models to offer creative solutions to complex and persistent social problems”.

Serial Entrepreneur

A serial entrepreneur is one who continuously comes up with new ideas and starts new businesses.[2] In the media, the serial entrepreneur is represented as possessing a higher propensity for risk, innovation and achievement. Serial entrepreneurs are more likely to experience repeated entrepreneurial success. They are more likely to take risks and recover from business failure.

Lifestyle Entrepreneur

A lifestyle entrepreneur places passion before profit when launching a business in order to combine personal interests and talent with the ability to earn a living. Many entrepreneurs may be primarily motivated by the intention to make their business profitable in order to sell to shareholders. In contrast, a lifestyle entrepreneur intentionally chooses a business model intended to develop and grow their business in order to make a long-term, sustainable and viable living working in a field where they have a particular interest, passion, talent, knowledge or high degree of expertise. A lifestyle entrepreneur may decide to become self-employed in order to achieve greater personal freedom, more family time and more time working on projects or business goals that inspire them. A lifestyle entrepreneur may combine a hobby with a profession or they may specifically decide not to expand their business in order to remain in control of their venture. Common goals held by the lifestyle entrepreneur include earning a living doing something that they love, earning a living in a way that facilitates self-employment, achieving a good work/life balance and owning a business without shareholders. Many lifestyle entrepreneurs are very dedicated to their business and may work within the creative industries or tourism industry, where a passion before profit approach to entrepreneurship often prevails. While many entrepreneurs may launch their business with a clear exit strategy, a lifestyle entrepreneur may deliberately and consciously choose to keep their venture fully within their own control. Lifestyle entrepreneurship is becoming increasing popular as technology provides small business owners with the digital platforms needed to reach a large global market. Younger lifestyle entrepreneurs, typically those between 25 and 40 years old, are sometimes referred to as Treps.

Thanks to Wikipedia
http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Entrepreneur&printable=yes

 

 

10 Psychological Keys To Job Satisfaction

Do you get a pleasant satisfied feeling after a hard day at work?

If some job satisfaction surveys are to be believed then as many as a third of us are considering a change of job. Clearly many are finding it hard to get that feeling of satisfaction from work.

Job satisfaction is important not just because it boosts work performance but also because it increases our quality of life. Many people spend so much time at work that when it becomes dissatisfying, the rest of their life soon follows.

Everyone's job is different but here are 10 factors that psychologists regularly find are important in how satisfied people are with their jobs.

1. Little Hassles

If you ask doctors what is the worst part of their jobs, what do you think they say? Carrying out difficult, painful procedures? Telling people they've only got months to live? No, it's something that might seem much less stressful: administration.

We tend to downplay day-to-day irritations, thinking we've got bigger fish to fry. But actually people's job satisfaction is surprisingly sensitive to daily hassles. It might not seem like much but when it happens almost every day and it's beyond our control, it hits job satisfaction hard.

This category is one of the easiest wins for boosting employee satisfaction. Managers should find out about those little daily hassles and address them—your employees will love you for it.

2. Perception Of Fair Pay

Whatever your job, for you to be satisfied the pay should be fair. The bigger the difference between what you think you should earn and what you do earn, the less satisfied you'll be.

The important point here is it's all about perception. If you perceive that other people doing a similar job get paid about the same as you then you're more likely to be satisfied with your job than if you think they're getting more than you.

3. Achievement

People feel more satisfied with their job if they've achieved something. In some jobs achievements are obvious, but for others they're not. As smaller cogs in larger machines it may be difficult to tell what we're contributing. That's why the next factor can be so important...

4. Feedback

There's nothing worse than not knowing whether or not you're doing a good job. When it comes to job satisfaction, no news is bad news. Getting negative feedback can be painful but at least it tells you where improvements can be made. On the other hand positive feedback can make all the difference to how satisfied people feel.

5. Complexity And Variety

People generally find jobs more satisfying if they are more complex and offer more variety. People seem to like complex (but not impossible) jobs, perhaps because it pushes them more. Too easy and people get bored.

To be satisfied people need to be challenged a little and they need some variety in the tasks they carry out. It sounds easy when put like that but many jobs offer neither complexity nor variety.

6. Control

You may have certain tasks you have to do, but how you do them should be up to you. The more control people perceive in how they carry out their job, the more satisfaction they experience.

If people aren't given some control, they will attempt to retake it by cutting corners, stealing small amounts or finding other ways to undermine the system. Psychologists have found that people who work in jobs where they have little latitude—at every level—find their work very stressful and consequently unsatisfying.

7. Organizational Support

Workers want to know their organization cares about them: that they are getting something back for what they are putting in. This is primarily communicated through things like how bosses treat us, the kinds of fringe benefits we get and other subtle messages. If people perceive more organizational support, they experience higher job satisfaction.

Remember: it's not just whether the organization is actually being supportive; it's whether it appears that way. The point being that appearances are really important here. If people don't perceive it, then for them it might as well not exist. That's why great managers need a politician's touch.

8. Work-Home Overflow

Low job satisfaction isn't only the boss' or organization’s fault, sometimes it's down to home-life. Trouble at home breeds trouble at the office.

Some research, though, suggests that trouble at the office is more likely to spill over into the family domain compared with the other way around (Ford et al., 2007). Either way finding ways of distancing yourself from work while at home are likely to protect you against job stressors (Sonnentag et al., 2010).

9. Honeymoons And Hangovers

Job honeymoons and hangovers are often forgotten by psychologists but well-known to employees. People experience honeymoon periods after a month or two in a new job when their satisfaction shoots up. But then it normally begins to tail off after six months or so.

The honeymoon period at the start of a new job tends to be stronger when people were particularly dissatisfied with their previous job (Boswell et al., 2009). So hangovers from the last job tend to produce more intense honeymoons in the next job.

10. Easily Pleased?

Some of us are more easily satisfied (or dissatisfied) than others, no matter how good (or bad) the job is. To misquote a famous cliché: You can't satisfy all the people all the time.

Still, some jobs do seem better suited to certain types of people. A lot of work has been done on person-environment fit but because jobs vary so much it's difficult to summarize.

One generalization we can make, though, is that people get more satisfied with their jobs as they get older. Perhaps this is because the older people are; the more likely they are to have found the right work for them. There's little evidence for this but I'd certainly like to think it was true.

On my darker days, though, I tend to think it's because young people have sky-high expectations (which are soon dashed) and older people have learned to live with their lot, however uninspiring it is.

Why can't we all be satisfied?

When you look at this list of what makes for a satisfying job, you might wonder why everyone can't have one. With a little thought, most of the predictors of satisfaction can be provided.

The answer is probably quite simple. Organizations pay lip-service to keeping their employees satisfied, but many don't really believe it makes a difference. What this research shows is that it can make a huge difference.

If you're a manager looking to improve satisfaction at your workplace then start with point number 1: find out about people's little hassles and address them. It might not look like much but people will really appreciate it.

Thanks to PsyBlog
http://www.spring.org.uk/2011/07/10-psychological-keys-to-job-satisfaction.php?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+PsychologyBlog+%28PsyBlog%29

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Great CEOs Are Born, Not Made

Bob Lutz in his recent book Car Guys vs. Bean Counters makes the point that GM was doing fine until in the mid 1970s the MBA-trained finance guys took control of product development from the "car guys," who were engineers and designers. The result, he says, was inferior cars and a decline in the firm. He believes that CEOs and the top management should not be bean counters but rather should be a "product guys."

The poster child for his view was Roger Smith who was an MBA-trained accounting and finance specialist. During his ten year tenure as GE's CEO during the 80s, Smith made breathtaking strategic and operating blunders. He invested in robotics that did not work, created a disastrous reorganization that resulted in cars so similar they were a joke (remember the Cadillac Cimarron?), mismanaged some ill-conceived acquisitions, built up enormous debt, and on and on. GM's share went from 45% to 36% under his watch. A role model, on the other hand, was Steve Jobs, with no degree but deep computer expertise, who spawned a string of product successes brilliantly executed.

I think Bob is an impressive executive (ironically he does have an MBA although it was in the pre-quant MBA era; Berkeley-Haas is proud to claim him), but I disagree with his suggestion that background, product knowledge, or management style (he advocates an autocratic style) are predictors of CEO performance and behavior. Lou Gerstner did not know anything about computers when he brought IBM back from the near dead and Allan Mulally had no background in automobiles when he took over Ford. And I don't believe that having an MBA or being in finance necessarily means that you are short-term focused or insensitive to customer demands.

Instead, in my view, a gifted CEO needs two qualities, and I believe that these come with birth, and not training. They are executive talent and strategic judgment.

Executive talent. Executives need a broad range of talent; excelling on a few dimensions is rarely enough. A truly gifted CEO should have a good feel for selecting, motivating, and evaluating people; developing and selling a strategy; creating an inspiring culture; developing an organizational structure and management process that work for the strategy; fostering cooperation across silos; understanding and using financial measures; and an understanding of how marketing, branding, finance, production, distribution contribute to strategy. With the right talent and DNA, a CEO who is missing background in some of these areas will quickly pick it up.

Strategic judgment. Some people just have a flare for good judgment — whether it is an ability to identify issues, distill facts, or develop instincts to make sound strategic decisions — and others simply do not. This too, in my opinion, is something you are born with. In my field, I see many who have deep experience in branding but relatively few that have a strategic flare. It can be improved but it cannot be created.

There are many with the talent and judgment to be successful CEOs that never get the opportunity to learn, to have the right experience, or to prove themselves. But, in my view, those that lack those qualities will not be successful no matter what background, training, experience, or mentoring they might have.

Thanks to David Aaker / Blogs HBR / Harvard Business Publishing

http://blogs.hbr.org/cs/2011/07/what_makes_a_great_ceo.html

 

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4 Inside Secrets To Writing A Great Cover Letter

Let’s agree you should always send a cover letter, it’s just the professional thing to do. Nonetheless, statistics show 50% of employers don’t read them and the others scan it in 5-10 seconds. That being said, how do you craft a cover letter that quickly captures their attention?

First of all, let’s agree the ONLY purpose of the cover letter is to get someone to want to read your resume. It is NOT a recap of your resume or a short story of how you moved from job to job. Since employers spend only a few seconds glancing at your letter, it should be short, easy to read (using bullets) and compelling.

Here’s a typical scenario: an employer has over 700 resumes to weed through, each with a cover letter. They pick up the next letter and it says, “I am writing in response to your advertisement #5444 regarding your Project Manager position.” Pretty boring…and you just missed your chance to grab their attention. So let’s look at how you can instantly make them want to know more.

Trick #1

A great trick is to start by thinking what the best candidate in the world would deliver. For example, for sales people, employers want to hear about setting sales records (overachieving quota), expanding the customer base, and earning customer loyalty. For project managers, employers want to see a consistent track record of delivering projects on time and with a high level of quality. For manufacturing, the key metrics are productivity, safety, quality and cost improvements. So tell them in your first sentence you can deliver these things.

I have over 15 years of experience leading manufacturing operations to new heights in productivity, profitability and safety.

Setting new sales records, growing market share and turning mediocre performers into superstars briefly describes what I can do for your firm.

I have over 10 years of experience leading highly visible, complex projects and have earned a solid reputation for meeting aggressive deadlines and bringing internal/external customer satisfaction to new heights.

Get the idea? You just told them you can deliver exactly the results they are looking for.

Trick #2

Most people send the same basic cover letter to all firms. Employers are really impressed when you show that you know something about their organization. So demonstrate your knowledge and put in a line that shows you’ve done your homework.

Example:

I’ve followed your company for a number of years and I imagine that with your opening a new plant in Atlanta, you will need someone who is experienced in plant startups.

With your recent acquisition of XYZ, I’m sure you can benefit from someone who has extensive HR experience managing the integration of new personnel and corporate cultures.

Wow! So far, you’ve told them you are a star performer who can deliver exactly what they want and that you are experienced in meeting some of the specific challenges that their organization faces. Now prove it.

Trick #3

Here is where you put in 2 to 5 bullets that prove you can deliver results. Bullets make the letter easy to read and simple for you to customize by swapping some bullets in for others depending on what they want. Here, you’ll want to quantify your accomplishments as much as possible.

Example:

I have been assigned to numerous turnarounds and surpassed expectations in each instance. As Plant Manager at 1 of the largest component manufacturers in the United States, I reduced overtime 30%, increased productivity 18%, grew quality 11% and slashed accidents by 33%.

I have 12+ years of solid sales experience at such firms as IBM, Oracle and Sun Microsystems, and achieved top ranked performance in every position. My achievements include delivering as much as 440% of sales targets and ranking in the Top 5 every year for the past 8 years.

Trick #4

You’ve proved you are a superstar (and even if you’re not, you should think like one), so now is the time to bring it home. Your closing paragraph should indicate that they should read your resume, that there is a lot more to know, and you will be calling them in a few days to find out more about the position.

There are a lot of important concepts here – yes, you will call them and no, you will not just ask them if they got your resume, but instead will demonstrate your strengths and knowledge by asking insightful questions that indicate you are truly interested in this position. Employers notice people who call and this is your opportunity to build rapport with the decision makers who hold the key to your dream job.

Follow these simple tips and you will definitely make yourself stand out.

Don Goodman, president of About Jobs is a nationally recognized career expert.

Thanks to Don Goodman / Careerealism
http://www.careerealism.com/4-secrets-writing-great-cover-letter/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+careerealism+%28CAREEREALISM%29

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