Friday, February 03, 2012

Your Comments - Part 4 - "Born or Made"

We promised to provide you with some of the feedback being received on our Linkedin Poll, where we asked the question: Are Entrepreneurs Born, or are they Made?

Our Linkedin Poll was launched on December 18, 2011 and your response has been overwhelming!  Thank you to all who contributed to the debate or voted in our poll.
Below are just a few of the comments that were provided. We have generally not edited what you see below. We trust that it being place on this BLOG will allow opportunity for other to join in the discussion.  Enjoy and please ADD your COMMENTS to this POST!

Karen Carleton (LION) • Usually I hear this question with regards to teachers, managers or other occupations - made or born? It boils down to Nature vs. Nurture, yet of course the two factors are inextricable so it becomes a chicken and egg argument. Things are not that black and white for me. Nature: intrinsic motivation, cognitive/physical/emotional capacity, personality (shaped by experience, and genetics to a lesser degree). Nurture: having guides/mentors, necessary resources, valued colleagues, gaining needed knowledge/skills, and learning by doing with environmental reinforcers (rewards/incentives) for entrepreneurial behavior. Given the right motivation, conditions, resources/supports and reinforcers, an entrepreneur can be made but it's not without a lot of effort. From what I've seen, entrepreneurial spirit tends to be more common among children of entrepreneurs, an idea that supports Bandura's social learning theory. 

Pierre Cormier • I agree with David's comments regarding all the factors that come into play in the making of an entrepreneur. The better entrepreneurs do need help along the way "to learn" on how to be an entrepreneur via growth/learning, pain, failure and success. 

Brian Wrightson • One cannot separate the born and made" elements entirely. Two children from the same family will be different at birth before environment conditions take their toll. One must possess certain intrinsic attributes to succeed in any field be it athletic or academic. I might have all the attributes to by a star cricket player (read entrepreneur) but I have never seen a game so we will never know because my environment never "allowed" this development. Or another question - is a latent entrepreneur still an entrepreneur?  

Stever Robbins • Just to be a bit provocative, might I suggest that the question is irrelevant. If someone is unemployed and can't find a job, they may be forced to start their own business regardless of whether they are an 'innate' or 'made' entrepreneur. Likewise, offered a $1mm/year salary at an established investment bank being a spreadsheet monkey may seduce the most 'innate' entrepreneur into a life of complacency. Furthermore, if we take a non-innate entrepreneur and train them in the basics of business and put them through an experiential boot camp of getting out there and actually starting something, they may well find they love it. So other than giving people an excuse not to go for it ("I'm not an innate entrepreneur and therefore shouldn't bother trying"), I'm not sure the question serves any useful purpose.

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