You don’t have to be an entrepreneur to work like one. In fact, the skills and values embraced by the startup set can lead to success in any workplace, even an international company like CSC.
At our recent conference, I spoke to a full house about the technology shifts related to the digital transformation, ways to think like our clients and support them on their digital journeys. After my tech-focused talk, I encouraged those in the audience to do three things:
- To objectively evaluate their skills and career path, ensuring both are in line with the digital transformation;
- To think about their role and what they can do to drive success;
- And finally, to curate an entrepreneurial mindset.
This last point I find to be extremely important. We know that, though a diverse breed, successful entrepreneurs do share several traits.
They tend to be determined, setting clear, often ambitious goals and working relentlessly to make them come true. Richard Branson’s quest to build commercial human spaceflight comes to mind – and he’s close to making his longtime vision a reality.
They’re confident in their abilities, which makes them able to perform well in challenging situations. But they’re not too confident that they stop investing time in learning about new approaches and engaging with others who have different ways of thinking.
Entrepreneurs are also not afraid to take risks, and they’re not afraid to fail. Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg and the now legendary story about the company rejecting a $1.6 billion bid from Yahoo in 2006 comes to mind. The then 22-year-old Zuckerberg could have walked away a billionaire, but he took a risk and built one of the most powerful companies in the world. (And, by the way, he’s now worth $36 billion.)
Finally, entrepreneurs make business decisions with the company foremost in mind. They dedicate themselves to the success of their organization, and they do whatever it takes to make that happen. As I asked my audience, “What would you do if every dollar came out of your pocket?” and “How can you exceed client expectations so partners come back to YOU with more business?”
As leaders, we need to be asking our employees these types of questions and encouraging them to think with an entrepreneurial mindset. This is especially important as the digital world changes the client-provider relationship, raising expectations and requiring providers to prove their relevance once again.
Where we can shine is in our people – the men and women who go above and beyond to make our clients successful – because that’s what makes them successful, too.
In true digital spirit, I encourage you to engage and collaborate with me in this space. Leave a comment about a new way to think about a topic I’ve addressed. Share my post via social media and interact with me on Twitter. I look forward to getting your feedback and using it to guide my blogging.