Leadership, Management

5 Key Leadership Skills that Shape the Success of an Entrepreneur

While some entrepreneurs may cite luck as one reason for their success, several skills are associated with starting and leading a business successfully.

“It takes a special kind of person to be an entrepreneur – to come up with an idea and put that idea into action,” says entrepreneur and digital strategist Sujan Patel in a post for Inc. magazine.

For starters, the odds seem stacked against you, he says, pointing to statistics that indicate half of all small businesses fail within the first four years.

“But entrepreneurs don’t see the risk, they see the reward,” writes Patel, who co-founded marketing agency Web Profits, and owns and operates two other Saas companies, Mailshake and Right Inbox.

Here are 5 skills that are common among entrepreneurs who start and run successful companies.


Just coming up with an idea for a new (successful) business can involve creativity.

You need to continually think of new ideas and better ways of doing things if you want to be a successful entrepreneur, says Patel in the Inc. article.

“Entrepreneurs are not satisfied with the status quo. They think outside the box and look for opportunities to come up with new solutions,” he writes.


Successful entrepreneurs have tremendous belief in themselves, says a post by Y Scouts, a leadership search practice that connects organizations with leaders.

“They are aware of their strengths and weaknesses, and demonstrate their skills without hubris. An entrepreneurial leader is very self-assured.”

According to England-based life coach and counselor Margaret Easton, self-belief and confidence are not the same.

She explains the difference in terms of a tree. The tree is solid and sturdy, but its leaves, like confidence, can be scattered during bad weather or when the season changes.

“The tree has its own unique strength and is happy to be what it is… It can even lose a branch or two, yet they can grow back stronger than before.”

“So to me, self-belief is what keeps you going when times get tough: a fundamental inner strength that helps you bounce back and continue with your dreams, no matter what others may tell you.”


It may be among the most commonly cited skill for entrepreneurs, many of whom have to endure failure after failure before finding success.

“When the going gets tough, the entrepreneurial leader perseveres,” the Y Scouts post says.

“True entrepreneurs simply don’t quit, they keep going till they find what they’re looking for.”

Perseverance can be essential for entrepreneurs who have some idea about a problem they can solve, says Kyle Jensen, associate dean, and director of entrepreneurship at the Yale School of Management, in a New York Times article by Paul Sullivan.

“Typically they’re not exactly right,” he says. “So if you survive long enough, you pivot and pivot and pivot and find what sticks.”

“Some studies found that entrepreneurs became better at running each successive venture, but in many industries, the one who sticks it out the longest often prevails,” says Jensen, according to the Times article.

Organizational Skills

This trait is essential for people who start and run their own business, writes Daniel Colombo in a post for Entrepreneur magazine.

“There are so many tasks and responsibilities that you’ll have to juggle to manage your schedule and commitments,” he says.

Being disorganized will lead not only to chaos in your operation, Colombo says, but will mean a significant loss of money for your business.


It is another characteristic that is cited frequently among successful entrepreneurs. Some say passion is the most crucial ingredient for success.

“Without passion, there is no reason for your work and no drive to do it,” writes Patel in his Inc. post.

“Entrepreneurs love what they do and are extremely dedicated to the businesses they create. To be successful, you must be confident in yourself and your business, and you must be proactive with what you do and how you do it.”

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