When I think of entrepreneurs, I think of people who see an opportunity to take advantage of a service which isn’t currently provided, then risk their own capital to provide that service in the hopes of building a successful business or brand. There are many people out there who would argue that entrepreneurs also have a certain set of characteristics. For the sake of this post, I’m going to throw entrepreneurs into a box and paraphrase Mike Werlings 10 Traits Entrepreneurs and Einstein Share to create an image of what entrepreneurs look like.
- Imagination. You’ve got to imagine something to be able to create it
- Always questioning. Always question how to make things better
- Old problems, new ways of thinking. Don’t just go along with how things have been done in the past
- Intuition. Trust your guts
- Strong positive attitude. Be positive because times will get tough
- Naps. Naps can recharge the brain
- Rise above the mundane details. Pay attention to the big picture and hire others to help with everything else
- Willingness to try new things–and fail. Not everything will succeed but some things will likely stick
- Maintaining balance. Take time to play
- Stay on top of tech. Maximize technology to stay at the forefront of your industry
Whether deserved or not, many people would probably not relate most of these characteristics to their idea of what government workers are like. When these people think of government agencies, they imagine inefficient bureaucracies which are seemingly incapable of change and adaptation. For this, I ask you to do two things:
1) Prove them wrong – Give an example of a time when you have personally seen people who have the traits of an entrepreneur innovate government.
2) But are they right? - In what ways could we use more entrepreneurship in government?