Become an Entrepreneurial Leader with Joel Peterson

In this age of fast-moving markets, fickle consumers, and unprecedented risks, we need leaders who think and act like entrepreneurs. In his latest book, Entrepreneurial Leadership: The Art of Launching New Ventures, Inspiring Others, and Running Stuff, Joel Peterson explains the important difference between an entrepreneur and an entrepreneurial leader: Entrepreneurs can launch new ventures but can’t necessarily run them at scale. Entrepreneurial leaders act nimbly to launch new initiatives, inspire others, and champion innovative approaches.

We’ve witnessed the extreme success of entrepreneurial leaders like Mark Zuckerberg, Steve Jobs, and Bill Gates. The days of leaders who focus on keeping results consistent with past performance and balancing a budget are over. Peterson introduces a new set of skills that aspiring entrepreneurial leaders need to develop.

In the book’s introduction, Peterson describes a painful personal memory of the night his wife temporarily went missing on a mountain hike. He then uses the metaphor of mountain climbing to present a series of maps organized around four skills needed to navigate the path to the summit of entrepreneurial leadership.

  1. Build Trust: Trust is “base camp” for any leader, but is especially important for the entrepreneurial leader. They must determine and live by their core values in order to behave predictably, which is a requisite for building trust. Being transparent, respectful, and consistently delivering on promises builds a personal brand that creates a trusting work environment.
  2. Create a Mission: Creating and sharing a clear mission is similar to providing a map to the summit. It gives meaning, clarity, and priority to a collective set of actions. A team without a mission lacks focus and direction and will most likely fail. A team that is aligned on a mission understands exactly where it is going and what it will take to get there. The mission serves as the inspiration for the endeavor by clarifying specific goals so that everyone is aligned.
  3. Secure a Team: Leadership is a team sport—and nothing is more important than ensuring the right people are in the right positions. Entrepreneurial leaders know how to recruit, onboard, coach, assign, and reassign—or when necessary, remove—people on the team. They hire people who share the same values and work ethic, then empower them to perform at their highest levels.
  4. Deliver Results: With a foundation of trust, an inspiring mission, and a team in place, it is time to deliver results. Entrepreneurial leaders establish standards for decision making, negotiating, and communicating while they meet the challenges of driving change, overcoming adversity, and more. Peterson presents a series of maps to help leaders be prepared to meet challenges and juggle the competing claims of customers, shareholders, and team members.

Entrepreneurial Leadership is filled with compelling stories that support the valuable information provided in Peterson’s maps. In many ways, the book is a how-to guide that will help you make a quantum leap in your own success. If you want to effectively lead others and help them achieve their best, launch new initiatives, drive innovation, or create a legacy, this book will inspire you to start your journey.

To hear host Chad Gordon interview Joel Peterson, listen to the LeaderChat Podcast and subscribe today. Order Entrepreneurial Leadership on

For more information on Joel Peterson, go to

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