British Entrepreneurs: Heroes, Meddlers, Artisans or Strategists?

British Entrepreneurs: Heroes, Meddlers, Artisans or Strategists?As The Apprentice absorbs the attention of the nation’s budding entrepreneurs, Cranfield University School of Management publishes its findings on what British Entrepreneurs are really like…

Reallity TV shows like The Apprentice and Dragons’ Den are prime examples of how the British public sees its homegrown entrepreneurial talent.

But a study from Cranfield University School of Management concludes that British entrepreneurs risk becoming victims of their own shortcomings.

Professor Andrew Burke’s study looked at Britain’s self-motivated business people and their relationships with key staff in thousands of UK companies.

The key findings of the report are that most entrepreneurs start off well and have good ideas but they fail to sustain that ability and ultimately fail to prosper. The main reasons for their failure are a lack of leadership skills and the failure to delegate the day-to-day running of their businesses.

Instead of focusing on ways to innovate and grow their businesses, Cranfield found that UK entrepreneurs were "getting bogged down" with administrative and accounting tasks for instance. By failing to delegate these tasks to experts our businesspeople the businesses were at risk of losing direction.

The study identified and classified a number of types of entrepreneur based upon their relationships with their staff, with the four dominant types being:

  • Heroes
  • Meddlers
  • Artisans and
  • Strategists

90% of entrepreneurs fell into the categories of being either Heroes or Meddlers and usually ended up employing staff who they were unable to manage. The entrepreneurs then ended up either "meddling" in the work of their staff or took on the workloads themselves, becoming "heroes".

Artisans were more involved in specialising in their tasks and so kept on delivering the goods or services for which they were known whilst the Strategists, the most desirable personality type, accounted for fewer than 5% of British entrepreneurs, being able to delegate and then focus on their core growth and development.

Cranfield University School of Management is currently partnering with the National Business Awards 2013, which close on 31st May.

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