education at all necessary for entrepreneurial excellence?
Many famous entrepreneurs have had very limited formal education and in many instances have dropped out of the educational system only to prosper.
Famous examples of people who did not survive the educational system for a variety of reasons include Bill Gates, Richard Branson, Steve Jobs and Dhirubhai Ambani, all synonyms of successful entrepreneurship.
Below are “the five minds” described by Horward Gardner that are necessary for leadership.
They are Disciplined, Synthesizing, Creating, Respectful and Ethical minds.
A disciplined mind is acquired through years spent in scholarship, a craft or profession, which he estimates take a decade to master. The disciplined mind that emerges from consistent work done to develop a skill sets and a knowledge base necessitates education and training.
Those without one or more disciplines will not succeed in a workplace; will be restricted to menial tasks.
Those without the ability to synthesize will suffer from information overload and inability to make judicious decisions – personal and professional.
Gardner says synthesis is identifying the jobs that need to be done and the people available to do those jobs. Synthesis is the identification of priorities and the way forward, balancing past visions with future aspirations. Synthesis enables one to examine new ideas in the light of one’s knowledge base.
Those without creating capacity will be replaced by the competition driven. According to Gardner, creating mind is more a function of the leader than of the manager. Entrepreneurs are generally bestowed with a strong sense of creativity, the ability to innovate and think out of the box.
Those who cannot respect will not win the respect of others. Gardner describes the fourth mind respectful as the ability to avoid stereotyping, accept people for who and what they are; to empathize and make common cause with them and be worthy of their trust.
The importance of the ability to empathize with others cannot be underscored and is among the most important qualities in leadership and entrepreneurship. It links well with an important form of intelligence that has gained credence today as a measure of success – emotional intelligence.
The fifth mind “ethical” understands well its role as a worker and as a citizen it understands duties and obligations and is able to perceive its role through the eyes of others. Leaders and entrepreneurs must be mindful of these ethical values in establishing their enterprise. Those without a sense of personal and professional ethics will yield a world devoid of decent people.
While domain knowledge is a must for one’s enterprise to succeed, the disciplined mind being thus important; synthesis, creativity, respect and ethics all are important too. Of these five minds, however, it is the creative mind that is perhaps most crucial for the entrepreneur; the ability to engage in bold, innovative and unconventional thinking being a definite advantage.
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