I was recently in Omaha, NE to attend a coaching class on Entrepreneurial Strengths. The Gallup organization has been collecting and studying data for the past six plus years and has determined that
the root to our (and any) economy is… jobs.
When a country, a state or a city has no jobs to offer, decline is eminent. The economic strength of any of the above will be determined by its ability to provide and sustain jobs. Ok, this may seem obvious. Stay with me. READ MORE…
Where do jobs come from?
Some might believe that our government is responsible for creating jobs. I don’t believe that. The facts show that jobs are created by businesses, and businesses are created by entrepreneurs… period.
Federal and local governments can surely stunt job growth by standing in the way of business and driving entrepreneurs away, but that’s a topic for a different post, or even a different web site. I’m going to stay out of politics here and just talk about the crisis we face right now. It’s an entrepreneurial crisis.
The class I attended was based around Gallup’s’ Entrepreneurial StrengthsFinder Assessment. The purpose was to learn the 10 traits measured by the assessment and understand their importance. Then to go out, coach on and evangelize the importance of entrepreneurship has on our economic future.
What can I/You/We do about it?
That sounds like a tall order. I think we can change the economic landscape of our city, our state or even our country. Let me give you a quote from Margaret Mead and then we’ll move on from there.
Never believe that a few caring people can’t change the world. For, indeed, that’s all who ever have.
Did you know that over 65% of all new jobs created between 1993 and 2009 came from the small-business sector?
Identifying and supporting entrepreneurs is critical to the growth and the health of our economy.
What is an Entrepreneur?
An entrepreneur is someone who can take innovation and turn it into a customer. In doing so an entrepreneur creates jobs.
Entrepreneurs are the doers. They are driven to action. They take innovation to the marketplace to meet the demands of consumers.
Innovation without Entrepreneurship
Why is there so much focus today on innovation? Innovation without an entrepreneur is worthless. Innovation without someone who is skilled at starting, maintaining and growing a business is nothing more than an idea in someone’s head, or a prototype collecting dust on a shelf.
In our country, entrepreneurship is in decline. According to Gallup, 400,000 new businesses are born annually and 470,000 of them die every year. Their statistics show that for the first time in 35 years business deaths out number business births.
I was startled to learn that the US ranks 12th among developing companies in terms of business start up activity. Here in America? In the home of the free and the brave? Here in the “land of opportunity”? Seriously?
Finding Entrepreneurial Talent
I learned from reading Jim Clifton’s book, “Entrepreneurial StrengthsFinder” that we have a system in place in our country to find exceptional intellect and outstanding talent in the arena of sports. I guess I kind of instinctively knew this but I could not have articulated it until I saw it in print.
Clifton talks about how kids with exceptional intellect, high IQ, are detected young. These kids are singled out and given opportunity to expand their talent. They are given educational opportunities that allow them to excel.
Interestingly, their socio-economic background and their geographic location generally do not matter. Our system finds them through testing and they are given opportunity. And they should be!
The same rings true for the athletic field. We have all heard stories of outstanding young athletes who are scouted by colleges and universities (and even the pros) at a very young age. They have opportunities that the average kid on the playground doesn’t have, and rightfully so.
What about young entrepreneurs? How do they get detected early in life. What about the next Bill Gates or Richard Branson? They are out there, sitting in class, figuring out things that the rest of us are clueless about. How do we detect and locate them?
Gallup has studied thousands of entrepreneurs over a number of years and concluded that there are certain innate traits, which make them successful in business.
They have determined that about 10 in a thousand have “High Entrepreneurial Talent” and about 5 in 1000 have “Exceptional Entrepreneurial Talent”.
Gallup studied high performing entrepreneurs, focusing on their attitudes and behaviors. The result: 10 traits or talents that are common to successful business outcomes.
These talents can be assessed and measured using their Entrepreneurial StrengthsFinder tool. This tool rates the responder in 10 different traits that Gallup has determined can predict the aptitude for increased potential.
Based on the their studies they have determined that compared with less-talented peers, highly talented entrepreneurs are:
- 4 times more likely to create jobs
- 4 times more likely to exceed profit goals
- 3 times more likely to build large businesses and grow significantly
- 5 times more likely to exceed profit goals
The Entrepreneurial Strengths Finder assessment is not a development tool, but a selection tool. It:
- helps discover innate talents
- identifies individuals who have entrepreneurial talent
- creates a common language to discuss talents that predict to entrepreneurial success
The assessment ranks 10 talents and categorizes them as Dominant, Contributing or Supporting.
I personally am very intrigued and excited at the opportunity to fulfill the words of Margaret Mead. (Reference above.) I plan on using the ESF assessment with my coaching clients who have a desire to explore entrepreneurial ventures and with transitioning military personnel who are of that same mind.
If you have any desire to engage me in entrepreneurial coaching, I’d be delighted to open the conversation and see if there’s a good fit. Just schedule a convenient time to talk and we can go from there.