3 Traits of an Entrepreneurial Mindset |  Sloan from MIT

3 Traits of an Entrepreneurial Mindset | Sloan from MIT

Entrepreneurship spurs innovation, boosts employment, fuels economies and offers solutions to a range of environmental and societal challenges. But before those sparks and engines ignite, an entrepreneurial spirit must be in place as a catalyst.

An entrepreneurial mindset helps leaders create value by “recognizing and acting on opportunities, making decisions with limited information, and remaining adaptable and resilient under uncertain and complex conditions,” said Rowena Barrett. , Professional Vice-Chancellor for Entrepreneurship at the University of Queensland. Technology.

In a webinar presented by MIT Sloan and QUT Business School, Barrett andmanaging director of the Martin Trust Center for MIT Entrepreneurship, shared three traits that define an entrepreneurial mindset, regardless of environment.

“Entrepreneurship is much, much more important than startups,” Aulet said. “Entrepreneurs need to exist throughout our society, not just in venture capital-backed startups. They have to exist in government, they have to exist in big business, they have to exist in non-profit organizations, [and] they must exist in academic institutions. We need entrepreneurs everywhere.

Solution oriented

An entrepreneurial mindset is resilient, resourceful, and solution-focused, even when conditions indicate otherwise. People with these mindsets are lifelong, curious and creative seekers of knowledge, and they are critical thinkers, Barrett said.

“They’re self-directed, action-oriented, very committed,” Barrett said. “They have optimistic interpretations of adverse events” and see problems as potential opportunities.

“They look to others and the value you can create for others by solving problems for others, and they surround themselves with an intentional community of positive influence and critical guidance,” Barrett said.

Entrepreneurial mindsets understand that chasing and following something can lead to unforeseen opportunities.


An entrepreneurial mindset embraces change, Aulet said, although this isn’t always taught in business schools.

“That doesn’t mean we need entrepreneurs and not management,” Aulet said. “We need ambidextrous leaders. We need managers who are entrepreneurial and who can become managers when needed, and be entrepreneurs [when need be].”

When change happens, an entrepreneurial spirit keeps an eye on the mission, he said.

Anti fragile

Despite the prefix, anti-fragile is a positive condition and quality of an entrepreneurial mindset, Aulet said.

The fight against fragility has four components:

  1. Heart — The confidence to say when change happens that it’s not something to survive, but rather “this is what we were built for,” Aulet said.
  2. Head — The understanding that when change happens, it’s time to take action and have a plan of what you’re going to do.
  3. Hand “It’s not enough to know what to do when you go into battle,” said Aulet. “We have to be able to do that.” It’s about converting the leader’s knowledge into the ability to get things done.
  4. House — Build a community that can help you obtain resources, especially those beyond your control. Knowing what to do, having the ability to do it, Aulet said, “so you have to be able to mobilize the resources very quickly to do it.”

Anti-frailty and entrepreneurial mindsets need to be embedded at all levels of an organization, Aulet said.

“It’s a mindset, skill and way of operating that will be needed universally to meet the challenges we face, not just in startups around the world,” he said. declared. “If we’re going to tackle climate change, if we’re going to tackle healthcare, if we’re going to tackle education, we can’t just have startups do it. We need to have large organizations with the infrastructure, balance sheets, other assets and global presence to be able to meet these major challenges.

Read next: 3 ways companies can keep innovating amid global upheaval

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