I'm in Dublin this week and was at the Halo Business Angel Network meeting on Monday evening. They're an impressive group, kind of an association of all of the angel groups in Ireland who work together to achieve results.
We had an opportunity to talk at some length about the qualities of entrepreneurial leaders and not surprisingly, there seems to be a lot of agreement.
All of us like leaders of ventures who:
- Have a passion for the customer, and a deep understanding of the customer's business.
- At the same time, understand their own business and its key achievements required for success.
- Sell first - even in developmental companies. This raises the chances for success as it keeps the company itself very close to the customer needs and desires.
- Build strong teams focused on the business and have the ability to achieve success. From an investors point of view, the ability to select and hire is a critical element in assessing the entrepreneur herself.
- Are focused on business success and are proactive in defining their own role going forward to maximize their contribution to the venture.
- Understand bootstrapping and its central role in the development of almost every business.
- Appreciate investor goals and investment styles and strategies.
- Ask for and get material assistance from investors and maximize their value to the enterprise.
- Test and stabilize the inevitably evolving (morphing?) business model to reduce hypotheses to facts.