If you were told in a performance review that you weren't very entrepreneurial, you'd be just as deflated as if you were called "un-strategic". Such is the status assigned to the entrepreneurial spirit these days.

Both of these labels, by the way, are better than the ones handed out in my reviews ("Unacceptable", I'm looking at you!)

Anyway, Harvard Business School's Timothy Butler has identified through extensive research "the single trait that most distinguishes leaders who are entrepreneurial from their conventional peers."

And it isn't whether or not they wear t-shirts underneath a blazer.

It's openness to new experiences.

That's right, a good old-fashioned hunger to explore and learn, embracing uncertainty in the process.

If this doesn't sound enough like you, don't despair. Here are three powerful ways to open your horizons, get growing going and increase your entrepreneurial quotient as a by-product.

1. Seek conscious growth (becoming who you are) versus growth for the sake of it.

The latter is a hobby; the former is a homecoming.

View the process of pursuing growth as a critical step in the journey of becoming who you really are, what you were meant to be. We'd all like more time for our hobbies. But we all simply must make time for becoming the best possible version of ourselves. Not to do so is a travesty, not a mere sidetrack.

Raise the stakes and rekindle your entrepreneurial flame too.

2. Dread obsolescence.

Pioneers of learning organizations believe that the rate of change in many industries is now so great that the only competitive advantage left may be the very rate at which its constituents are able to learn, grow and change.

So, future-proof yourself. Recognize that the need to up your skills is central to being a relevant and yes, entrepreneurial, leader.

3. Work on your life versus in your life.

What if I told you that recommitting to learning and growth would not only bring out your inner entrepreneur but would also feed a sense of greater control in your life?

When you do so, it gives you a sense you're working on a better life for yourself and are escaping the hamster wheel of daily life we can all so easily get caught up in.

Some of the best employees I've ever had (a) picked up my dry cleaning, and (b) worked on the systems they labored in (to make them better), versus just in them--it's no different for us with our own lives.

We can work on our best lives by learning and growing throughout, and basking in the significance of so doing, rather than just looking back one day and realizing we've merely been living in our life as it was happening to us.

To do so, spend less time on the maintenance tasks in your life (mindless, routine "To Do" list type stuff), and more time on the growth tasks in your life that will feed your entrepreneurial side.

So, you can amp up the entrepreneurial leader in you. And maybe your next performance review won't be held in a public place, by design.

Published on: May 25, 2017
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