Born, Not Made: The Entrepreneurial Personality

Front Cover
Greenwood Publishing Group, 2008 - Business & Economics - 177 pages

Books, magazine articles, and educational programs on entrepreneurship are all based on the idea that anyone can be an entrepreneur--that entrepreneurs are made, not born. Well, maybe not. In a study of 234 CEOs funded by the Kauffman Foundation, James L. Fisher and James V. Koch came up with a surprising conclusion: Some individuals are simply more naturally fitted to become entrepreneurs than others. They are pre-wired. Because of heredity, some people are much more likely to become successful entrepreneurs or pursue entrepreneurial strategies within a corporate setting profitably. By recognizing that, this book will significantly improve corporate selection processes, strengthen entrepreneurship programs, and boost the confidence of aspiring entrepreneurs through invaluable insights.

Among other things, Fisher and Koch show that true entrepreneurs not only see the world differently--they act differently. Compared with corporate managers, for example, they are more confident, more decisive, more likely to upset the apple cart, and more energetic. They love to compete but are notable for the partnerships they are able to fashion with friend and foe alike. Such conclusions are remarkable. Why? Because they are based on the only empirical comparison study yet conducted on entrepreneurship. The insights are not based on personal opinion or case studies but on valid and reliable personality indicators.

Because the book shows that certain kinds of people will find it much easier to found successful companies than others, it has many practical applications. It will help organizations fit the right people into jobs requiring an entrepreneurial bent. It will challenge corporations to hire entrepreneurial CEOs who will transform businesses rather than maintain the status quo. And it will speak directly to entrepreneurs and those contemplating starting a business, who will learn if they have the right stuff to start and sustain a business. In short, this book provides insights into the entrepreneurial soul that can change the fortunes of individuals and companies for the better.


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Chapter One The Entrepreneurial Personality
Chapter Two The Scientific Evidence
Chapter Three RiskTakers and Change Agents
Chapter Four Entrepreneurial Management and Leadership Style
Chapter Five Entrepreneurial Habits and Preferences
Chapter Six Entrepreneurs as Internationalists and Novelty Seekers
Chapter Seven CEOs and Their Boards
Chapter Eight Are You an Entrepreneur?
What Entrepreneurial Research Tells Us
The Survey Instrument

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About the author (2008)

JAMES L. FISHER is the most published writer on leadership and organization in higher education today. He has written scores of professional articles and has been published in the New York Times and the Baltimore Sun. The author or editor of ten books, his The Power of the Presidency was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize. Among other schools, he has taught at Northwestern, Johns Hopkins, and Harvard University.

JAMES V. KOCH is Board of Visitors Professor of Economics and President Emeritus at Old Dominion University. An Exxon Foundation study selected him as one of the 100 most effective college presidents in the U.S. An economist, he has published nine books and ninety articles.

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