5 Unique Leadership Qualities of Christian Entrepreneurs

Feb 5, 2015, Written by Sue Miley

christianentreprenuer

If you combine our blind faith in our vision with our faith in Jesus Christ, we are an unstoppable force. 

There are tons of books, podcasts, and blogs on leadership.  And I get that there are many characteristics of leadership that transcend gender, position, and role…..but if you are an entrepreneur, you know you are a different animal.

Entrepreneur to me is not just someone who owns their own business.  Yes an entrepreneur likely does own their own business, however, all small business owners are not entrepreneurs. Let me share a couple of dialogues and see if you recognize yourself in one of these.

Scene 1: The Small Business Owner

Business owner comes in my office for our weekly meeting.  After our hellos and niceties, the business owner blurts out:

“I didn’t do my homework.  Things were crazy this week.  I started to cancel since I didn’t do what we discussed.”

Me:  “It’s not a problem.  What was going on this week?”

Business Owner:  “Everything.  We have these two big jobs coming up.  I know I shouldn’t have to be so involved, but we needed to do these right…..”

Scene 2: The Entrepreneur

Business owner comes in my office for our weekly meeting.

“Hey what’s up.  I couldn’t wait to get here.  I heard about this great opportunity.  I know we have to focus on the core business, but you have to hear about this.”

Me:  “Is it a business opportunity for your current business?”

Business Owner:  “Well, not really.  But we could do it.  Or maybe I can invest in it as a separate business venture.  I could find a location that would be perfect for it.  It would be hard at first to get it going, but once it was up….the possibilities are endless…..”

Me:  “Did you work on the budget (homework) we discussed last week?”

Business owner:  “Ummm, a little, but if we introduced our product in different colors, it could be a game changer….”

Can you see the difference?  Can you feel the difference?

Entrepreneurs rarely sit still.  They are in a constant state of propulsion!

And as a Christian in business, we all beat to a different drum.  So what are the key leadership characteristics of a Christian entrepreneur?

5 Unique Leadership Qualities of Christian Entrepreneurs

  1. They See Possibility Everywhere – We all see possibility at some point or another, but entrepreneurs see it everywhere.  Their brains have possibility ADD.  And if you add being a Christian into the mix, all possibilities are true opportunities with God involved.  One of the endearing, and sometimes frustrating, traits of a Christian entrepreneur is that they come up with a million ideas and they sincerely want to do them all.  This is a great attribute if you need a good idea, but can be a bit challenging for the organization under the entrepreneur, to have to execute all of the ideas.  This trait is perfected with the help of the Holy Spirit’s fruit of self- discipline.  With a little discipline and self-control, the wise Christian Entrepreneur will prioritize their ideas, and build a solid organization to take care of the details, and bring the idea to reality.
  2. They Can’t Stop Themselves (they are highly self-motivated) – Entrepreneurs many times don’t have a boss.  No one is asking them to come up with an idea or to try to make it happen.  Entrepreneurs can’t help themselves.  They are highly self-motivated and constantly stretch themselves and challenge themselves to take advantage of opportunities.  It started when they were about 5 and they set up their first lemonade stand.  Or maybe they brought candy to school and sold it at lunch to the other students. It is in our nature to start things!
  3. They Embody Change – I was going to say that they embrace change, but that would have been an understatement.  They embody it.  They are catalysts for change.  Done right an entrepreneur will pick an idea, launch it, and then focus their ADD tendencies on growth, transformation, or changes necessary for the idea to reach it’s potential.  Done wrong, change for change’s sake can remove stability and trust from an organization.  This is where we need to pull from our twin sister the small business owner and focus
  4. Are Too Stupid (or naive) To Know It Can’t Be Done –  I would like to say it was our undying faith in Jesus that keeps us moving forward with an idea, even through tough times, but usually we just don’t stop long enough to realize the magnitude of what we have to accomplish.  It is in an entrepreneur’s blood to persevere.  To an entrepreneur, it is synonymous to hard work.  If you combine our blind faith in our vision with our faith in Jesus Christ, we are an unstoppable force.
  5. Are Loyal, Trusted, and Trustworthy – At least the successful ones.  Entrepreneurs usually start more than one thing in their lives.  To take an idea or an opportunity and move people and resources to support and implement it, you have to have some integrity.  Whether that is admitting it is a long shot, or having a track record of good stewardship of people’s time and resources.  Yes, their passion and propulsion and perseverance build much of the momentum, but in the end, to be successful, an entrepreneur needs to have loyalty and integrity to be trusted.

As a Christian, God will give us our vision, Jesus will grace us with opportunities, and the Holy Spirit will help straighten our path forward.

The difficulty we may find being in this world is that sometimes our definition of success and God’s may be different.  As we embrace the possibilities, we have to also accept the outcome of God’s will.  We remind ourselves that all things can be made good for those who love Christ.

And we do what all good Christian entrepreneurs do….move forward and start something new!

How about you, are you an entrepreneur?  Do you know any?  What other leadership characteristics do you find uniquely in entrepreneurs?

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Sue Miley

Sue Miley MBA, MA, LPC helps small business owners build successful businesses on a foundation of Christian values. After 20 years in business, and 10 years as a Christian counselor, Sue uses a combination of faith, business and psychology to help clients in business and in life.