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Entrepreneurial Leadership

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Entrepreneurial Leadership

The Art of Launching New Ventures, Inspiring Others, and Running Stuff

HarperCollins Leadership,

15 min read
6 take-aways
Audio & text

What's inside?

Being an entrepreneurial leader takes tenacity, tough-mindedness, decisiveness and agility amid change.

Editorial Rating



  • Comprehensive
  • Applicable
  • Well Structured


Business professor Joel Peterson explores the qualities and actions required for entrepreneurial leadership: exercising tenacity, setting big goals, being tough-minded, generating trust, pursuing a mission, building a team, achieving results and resolving a constant stream of decisions. While explaining how to succeed as a business leader, Peterson also counsels that entrepreneurial leadership isn’t a path for everyone. If you hate change, uncertainty or surprises, he says, it’s probably not a fit.


Entrepreneurial leaders can be presiders, managers, administrators, “pure entrepreneurs” or politicians. 

Entrepreneurial leaders have impressive talents and capabilities. They prepare for all eventualities so their enterprises can take a punch and bounce back. They have gumption and heart. 

Entrepreneurial leaders know what to do when things don’t go well. They aren’t afraid to take bold action, and they keep their wits about them under tremendous pressure. These leaders are thoughtful change agents.

The way they exercise leadership can focus on these roles:

  1. Presiders – These leaders maintain tradition and preserve and protect organizational values. They embrace their roles as trusted stewards and masterful communicators. Others follow them willingly. Everyone knows their role at any meeting: They preside.
  2. Managers – These leaders keep the trains running on time. They bring in their projects on budget and on deadline. Entrepreneurial managers excel at managing projects and people.
  3. Administrators – These efficient, process-oriented...

About the Author

Joel Peterson, the chair of JetBlue Airways, is the founding partner of Peterson Partners and a faculty member at the Graduate School of Business at Stanford University.

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