Role of Entrepreneur
Posted by Orrin Woodward on May 15, 2013
I read an interesting article today on the role of entrepreneurs today. I have played each of these roles at various parts in my entrepreneurial journey just like the reader will in theirs. Entrepreneurs gather as many facts and relevant data as possible in their field of endeavor, but, at the end of the day, they must move ahead without any guarantees on the outcomes. Entrepreneurship, in other words, demands faith to a degree an employee is unwilling to endure.
Richard Cantillon, the great French economist, was the first to recognize the important role of the entrepreneur as the catalyst for economic growth. In a true free-enterprise system, entrepreneurs only advance by serving the customers through innovative methods and processes. Customers do not care about good intentions, hard work, or personal problems, they just want results. Entrepreneurs are those rare individuals who blend leadership, strategy, and courage to implement game plans with the goal to satisfy customer demands.
Free Enterprise is another way of saying the customer is king. Whomever satisfies the customers is promoted into leadership. However, as soon as he or she cannot get the job done, they will be replaced by another competitor who will. Tough; Cold-hearted; Unforgiving? These are all epithets hurled at the free enterprise system by those who do not comprehend the importance of customer satisfaction. Imagine a world where people returned phone calls when they said they would, completed tasks on time, and performed quality work that would stand the test of time. Only when the customer has the freedom to reject anything less, the quality of workmanship and results would increase to this level.
In any event, here is to the much criticized entrepreneurs of the world who have served customers without looking for special deals from government. Instead they rely on their innovativeness, courage, and energy to serve customers who freely choose them. The LIFE Leadership organization teaches all of these characteristics in its highly acclaimed audios, videos, and books from top leaders and bestselling authors. In fact, the Mental Fitness Challenge ought to be devoured by every hungry entrepreneur.
The West needs a LeaderShift and entrepreneurs play a leading role. Here is part one of the ongoing series.
Successful entrepreneurs are usually modeled as combinations of innovators (with creative and innovative flair) and managers (with strong general management skills, business know-how, and sufficient contacts). Over the years, economists have, however, described more roles of entrepreneurs. The following is a summary of the economists’ interesting discourse that, aspiring entrepreneurs may, hopefully, find useful.
Entrepreneur as risk-taker
Richard Cantillon (1680-1734) suggested that an entrepreneur is someone who has the foresight and willingness to assume risk and take the requisite action to make a profit (or loss). Cantillon’s entrepreneur is forward-looking, risk-taking, alert though need not be innovative in the strict sense.
Two different kinds of risk were distinguished by Frank Knight (1885-1972): one is capable of being measured (i.e., objective probability that an event will happen) and shifted from the entrepreneur to another party by insurance; the other is un-measurable (i.e., no objective measure of probability of gain or loss), e.g., the inability to predict consumer demand. According to Knight, the entrepreneur takes the latter risk: “true” uncertainty found in situations, which do not repeat themselves with sufficient conformity to make possible a computation of probability (what we nowadays term as “unknown and unknowable”).