One of the books I’ve read recently for “Personal Purpose & Mission,” a class I’m taking on the weekends, is called Bridge As You Walk On It: A Guide for Leading Change by Robert Quinn. The class and the book have helped me clarify my purpose as well as the purpose of my company. I identify with its message because I must serve not only as a leader within our firm, the Anant Corporation, but also aspire for Anant to become a leader in the industry. I believe that the Fundamental State of Leadership is similar to the Fundamental State of Entrepreneurship.
Here’s a quote that encompasses what I believe the book is all about:
“To remain in the normal state, refusing to change while the universe changes around us, is ultimately to choose slow death. To enter the fundamental state of leadership is to reverse the process by making deep change. The fundamental state of leadership is a temporary psychological condition. When we are in this state, we become more purpose-centered, internally driven, other-focused and externally open.”
– Robert Quinn
The lesson I’ve learned from this book is that the Fundamental State of Leadership is hard to enter, and even harder to maintain. Robert Quinn says it is “temporary.” I see that it’s temporary because there are times when it’s easier to sit and wait for opportunity, vs. actively looking for purpose or serving others. I understand and accept that leadership is a state of mind that needs to be cultivated as a process and the result of the work is influence.
The components of the Fundamental State of Leadership are simple, but difficult to implement. It’s not easy to become a Leader. It’s not easy to be an Entrepreneur. Being an Entrepreneur means to find and manage the gaps of opportunity. It takes internal leadership to become an external leader. It takes internal entrepreneurship to become an entrepreneur.
Fundamental State of Leadership as they apply to Entrepreneurship :
- Other-focused – The company is beyond the ego of the CEO. It is beyond the company itself. It should be focused on the customers, the employees, and then share holders, which may be as wide a group as society itself.
- Externally open – The company is ready to move outside it’s comfort zone, researching, getting feedback from customers & employees, adapting and reaching great heights of “awareness, competence, and vision.”
- Internally directed – The company is always seeking to improve ourselves and reviewing whether we are true to our word.
- Purpose-centered – The company is clarifying the results we want to achieve by refocusing the mission or vision. It is pushing harder towards those goals and objectives that take priority over distractions to achieve that purpose.
Taking artistic license, here’s my attempt to phrase what I believe the Fundamental State of Entrepreneurship is about:
“The fundamental state of entrepreneurship is a psychological awareness that one has the ability to manage the gap of what is and what can become. When we are in this state, we become more mission-centered, operationally driven, customer-focused and externally open.”
– Rahul Singh
Customer focused – The company is constantly looking to serve the customer, the partners, and vendors.
Instead of being “product-focused,” being customer focused is the best way to actually have customers. If what the company makes or does doesn’t help out a customer, the company is not worth existing. Being customer focused is very crucial to an entrepreneur’s success. Our products have come out of services we have provided to customers. Our services have improved because we took feedback.
Externally open – The company is looking to see how external factors can change our game.
There are always changing factors outside of our control. What can the company do to adapt? If the laws change, is the company ready? If there is a new player in the game, how can the company work with them? We look to the news and events of what’s going on to understand how technology, business, and government affects us in the short and long term.
Operationally directed – The company is looking to see how we can improve internally.
If the company doesn’t focus internally to see how to improve inefficiencies, the long term goals of the company will be compromised. This is a continuous improvement process. Our COO, Kevin Morgan has set an internal goal of becoming the most efficient technology company in the world. I hope we achieve it and I hope we help our customers achieve it.
Mission centered – The company is constantly moving towards the “big hairy audacious goal.”
Our “big hairy audacious goal” is to one day be able to help run every single company in the world with our software and services. This goal is from our mission of empowering individuals, nonprofits, and small businesses to create a better world with the power of the internet.
Being an entrepreneur is different from being a business person. An entrepreneur is looking to change from how things are to how they can be. A business person is just trying to offer goods and services. Are you an entrepreneur or are you a business person? Both of them have their own challenges and neither are easy. If you are an entrepreneur, are you ready to enter the Fundamental State of Entrepreneurship to serve your customers? If you need help being an entrepreneur on the Internet, Anant can help. We help small-businesses and nonprofits start, grow, and run their companies online. Let us show you how. Contact me or the company if you need anything.