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Communication

Once an organisation has progressed beyond the start-up stage, the entrepreneurial leader will need to build a much larger team of committed individuals. Achieving this goal requires a solid foundation of listening, communication, building trust and exhibiting respect for the dignity and

Table 3.1 Leader role change*

Start-up leadership tasks

Organisational leadership tasks

Idea seeker

Identifying change that can be source of new ideas

Creating viable new business

Leading and inspiring a small team

Fostering limited resources

Leveraging resources to support existing ideas and identifying new idea

Sustaining change awareness across entire organisation

Building a more complex organisational structure while sustaining entrepreneurial capabilities Developing structures that ensure others take leadership role across individual teams Ensuring resources remain allocated to ensure ongoing entrepreneurial activities

*Modified from Swiercz and Lydon (2002) the creative potential of each person in the organisation. The outcome is an organisation in which change, value enhancement and an entrepreneurial orientation are the norms (Darling and Beebe 2007).

An entrepreneurial leader is able to communicate and inspire individuals to persuade them to be willing participants in the fulfilment of the organisation’s innovation goals. Nurmi and Darling (1997) propose that the four entrepreneurial communication strategies required are (1) attention through vision, (2) meaning through communication, (3) creating trust and (4) confidence building. The outcome is the creation of shared meanings and mutual interpretations of events, thereby ensuring coordinated actions across the entire organisation.

Another aspect of successful communication is the effectiveness and appropriateness of the message (Beebe et al. 2004). The message should be understood as the communicator intended and must achieve the effect that they intended. Message acceptance usually only occurs where the leader is trusted and depends on the degree to which the entrepreneur is predictable, consistent and holds opinions that are well known. Where the freedom of choice is accepted within an organisation, both the entrepreneurial leader and the employees must have the right to choose (McLagan and Nel 1995). Freedom of choice will enhance the degree of respect in which the leader is held by employees, typically based upon confidence in their knowledge, ability to make appropriate decisions regarding the continuing operations of the organisation and willingness to comprehensively communicate decisions. Confidence and respect are created through skilful listening by a leader whose understanding enables other individuals to be effective in their assigned roles.

 
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