One definition of an “Entrepreneur” is someone who exercises initiative by organising a venture to take benefit of an opportunity and, as the decision maker, decides what, how and how much of a good or service will be produced. An entrepreneur supplies risk capital as a risk taker and monitors and controls the business activities.
And one definition of a “Project Manager” is someone who is organised, passionate and goal-oriented that understand what projects have in common, and their strategic role in how organisations succeed, learn and change.
We might suggest it is easy to spot the similarities for both these persona’s but it’s also true to say not every project manager is an entrepreneur, but an entrepreneur really needs to be a project manager in order to succeed. What is most common across both the “Entrepreneur” and the “Project Manager” is that they set goals, follow a defined process to seek out improvements, in a measurable and structured manner with a clear objective in mind all along the way…whether that be product or project delivery, enhanced revenue generation, customer satisfaction or all the above combined.
Entrepreneurial PMs occupy a distinct capability to work and operate within cultures of significant change or uncertainty and often adopt a unique and creative approach to their project management style. They may embed themselves as key stakeholders of a given environment and effectively operate with a level of “skin in the game”.
This however is not to suggest that Entrepreneurial PMs don’t portray the characteristics of a more traditional delivery PM. But the Entrepreneurial PM will see the world more focused through the eye of a particular sponsor or stakeholder and either accelerate or challenge the business case behind a particular task or initiative. Strategic business value is a key criterion in the mindset of the Entrepreneurial PM. They also acutely understand risk at a corporate and strategic level, how to improve business effectiveness and streamline the lifecycle, and of course how to manage cost, scope, and schedule. They act as business partners to support delivery fundamentally.
For the Entrepreneurial PM, success is the only way to proceed. They are personally invested in the success of their remit and treat it accordingly “as their own”. Approaching projects with an attitude to confront, tackle and overcome all showstoppers presented along the way is a typical mindset and all projects are undertaken to create something new or unique, no matter what the scale and Entrepreneurial PMs understand this completely.
Some common characteristics of an Entrepreneurial PM (not exhaustive):
- Getting the “big picture”
- Leads & motivates
- Team builder
- Patient (not easily rattled)
- Great listener and communicator
- Strategic and organised
- Technically sound
- Effective task delegator
So, as a takeaway, maybe you could aim to determine if someone you know, you yourself or perhaps someone well known as let’s say Elon Musk would meet the criteria outlined within to be considered as an Entrepreneurial PM?!
If you would like to discuss your Project Management resourcing requirements in more detail, please get in touch with our team today.