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Why every leader needs to think like an entrepreneur


The Art of Leadership Newsletter

We are at a point in the COVID-19 pandemic, where leaders now more than ever, need to demonstrate their ability to be agile and adaptable as they deal with the complexities of the new world. This requires a new level of creative thinking which research shows is associated with an entrepreneurial mindset. Our blog this month explores this mindset and the attributes leaders need to adopt to develop and deploy strategies for success in the weeks and months ahead.

To assist, we are working hard to ensure that you and your teams have the tools, strategies and guidance needed to navigate the new environment. Check out our new webpages and explore our new virtual resources to support leaders through COVID-19.

Virginia Mansell
Founding Partner

Why every leader needs to think like an entrepreneur

As the COVID-19 lockdown eases, and leaders at every level develop detailed plans to bring their businesses back to scale, they also need to think about the next planning horizon and address a crucial question: how do we need to reinvent for this new normal?

The problem is that most planning processes assume some level of predictability in the macroeconomic environment. But when a global pandemic lays waste to that predictability, leaders can benefit from making a fundamental shift in their thinking and embrace the mindset of an entrepreneur. That’s because successful entrepreneurs don’t predict the future. They create it.

A good example comes from serial entrepreneur So-Young Kang. Her first start-up was consulting firm The Awaken Group. From there came the creation of the global-award-winning microlearning platform Gnowbe. Speaking at one of our recent Asia-wide webinars, the former McKinsey consultant and World Economic Forum Young Global Leader said: “The term think like an entrepreneur in this environment is really about having the mindset and the attitude to be able to roll up your sleeves and get things done.”

Leaders at all levels have certainly been getting things done. For example, a group of leaders responsible for implementing a digital transformation plan with an 18-month timeline found themselves throwing out the traditional playbook and deploying the plan within three days.

This level of agility is one of the hallmarks of an entrepreneurial mindset. Other differentiating qualities include an inherent optimism, deep reserves of endurance and an ability to innovate and create.

However, of all the “entrepreneurial” attributes worth emulating, we’ve highlighted three that stand out in the current context:

Even as we move towards some semblance of normality, the economic fallout of COVID-19 will continue to be felt for some time. Within this maelstrom, we believe that an entrepreneurial mindset will become an increasingly important frame of thinking to survive and thrive.

About the Authors
Mehul Joshi is a Senior Partner and Virginia Mansell is Founding Partner, Stephenson Mansell Group

Joe Fischer, Senior Partner, Richard Clarke, Head of Coaching and Mentoring, Heather Linaker, Queensland State Director, Stephenson Mansell Group

“It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change.”
– Anon

What’s On

Leading through Uncertainty – Part 2: The Other Side

From a people-perspective, leading the way out of the storm of COVID-19 doesn’t seem as straightforward as leading into it. For many, the level of uncertainty and ambiguity has only increased. Yet how that plays out for each person is hard to predict.

LIVE: Monday 18 May 2020   12.00-1.00pm AEST

Click here to register for free

Explore our new virtual resources and programs to support leaders through Covid-19
The dramatic impacts of COVID-19 on organisations and their people has meant that leaders have had to find a new level of agility and adaptability.

Our COVID-19 resources including dedicated Webinars, Downloadable Resources, One-on-One and Team Virtual Programs have been specifically developed to help you and your organisation meet changing needs.

Explore our new virtual resources to support leaders through COVID-19

Returning to Work 30-second Survey

As social restrictions are set to be lifted, we are facing our next hurdle – reintegration into our ‘normal’ life. We would appreciate you taking our short survey to gather feedback on the anxiety levels and feelings the community has in returning to office based working.

Take the short survey now

Lunch & Learn Webinar Series

Join us live each fortnight as we tackle current leadership issues and offer practical tools and strategies through our webinars.

From Strategic Leadership, to Communicating in a Virtual World and Leading through Uncertainty – these online sessions have become a must attend for leaders at all levels.

Access recordings of all our past webinars on our website, or join us live for your opportunity to engage and delve into Q&A with the panellists.

View our past webinar recordings and see what’s coming up next

What’s Trending in Leadership

More from Patrick Lencioni – Recently released podcast called 5 Dysfunctions of a Virtual Team, is a great 37 minute discussion on his leadership model, based on the current working environment we see ourselves in.


The Entrepreneurial Mindset: It’s Not Just For Startups
Cultivate a culture where an Entrepreneurial Mindset is part of BAU.




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