3 traits of an entrepreneurial mindset

Entrepreneurship sparks innovation, drives employment, strengthens the economy, and provides solutions to a wide range of environmental and social challenges. But before those sparks can be ignited, an entrepreneurial mindset must be created as a catalyst.

An entrepreneurial mindset helps leaders create value by “recognizing and acting on opportunities, making decisions with limited information, and adapting and being flexible in uncertain and complex situations,” said Rowena Barrett, associate professor of entrepreneurship at the University of Queensland. Make.” Technology.

In a webinar presented by MIT Sloan and QUT Business School, Barrett andCEO of MIT’s Martin Trust Center for Entrepreneurship shared three characteristics that define an entrepreneurial mindset regardless of environment.

“Entrepreneurship is much, much bigger than startups,” Aulet said. Entrepreneurs should be present throughout our society and not just in investment startups. They should exist in government, they should exist in large corporations, they should exist in non-profit organizations, [and] They should exist in academic institutions. “We need entrepreneurs everywhere.”

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Solution oriented

An entrepreneurial mindset is flexible, resourceful, and solution-oriented—even when circumstances dictate otherwise. People with these mindsets are lifelong seekers of knowledge who are curious, creative, and critical thinkers, Barrett said.

“They’re self-directed, action-oriented, very engaged,” Barrett said. “They have optimistic interpretations of adverse events” and see problems as potential opportunities.

“They look to others and the value you can create for others by solving other people’s problems, and they surround themselves with an intentional community of positive influence and critical guidance,” Barrett said.

Entrepreneurial mindsets know that pursuing something can lead to unexpected opportunities.


Aulet said an entrepreneurial mindset involves change, although that’s not always taught in business school.

“That doesn’t mean we need entrepreneurs and no management,” Olett said. We need ambidextrous leaders. We need managers who are entrepreneurs and can change to become managers and be entrepreneurs if necessary. [when need be]”

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When change happens, he said, an entrepreneurial mindset oversees the mission.


Despite the prefix, antifragility is a positive condition and quality of entrepreneurial mindset, Aulet said.

Antifragility has four parts:

  1. Heart “It’s the confidence to say when change happens that it’s not something to survive, but ‘this is what we were made for,'” Ault said.
  2. Head – Understanding that when change happens, it’s time to act and have a plan for what you’re going to do.
  3. Hand “It’s not enough to know what to do when we go into battle,” Olett said. “We should be able to do it.” It is the transformation of head knowledge into the ability to do things.
  4. Main Page – Building a community that can help you acquire resources, especially resources that are out of your control. Knowing what to do, having the ability to do it, “then you have to be able to gather the resources very quickly to do it,” Aulet said.
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Aulet said that anti-fragility and entrepreneurial thinking should be developed at all levels of the organization.

“It’s a mindset, a skill and a method that’s needed globally for the challenges we have, not just in startups around the world,” he said. If we’re going to address climate change, if we’re going to address health care, if we’re going to address education, we can’t just have startups doing it. “We need to have large organizations that have the infrastructure, balance sheet, other assets and global presence to address these big challenges.”

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