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What makes an entrepreneur great? You may be surprised to learn that the measure of a true entrepreneur’s greatness is not the glory of self-made millions, the triumphant parade of business awards and accolades or the glory of celebrated media buzz. The true celebrity quality of a transformative entrepreneur is the way he or she motivates, appreciates, encourages and engages employees – an Inclusive Entrepreneur.

What is an Inclusive Entrepreneur?

The Inclusive Entrepreneur is an individual with grandiosity, fierceness and sublimity, one who pushes beyond any pomp and richness professional success has delivered to remain focused on the massively invaluable, even prodigious, role employees make in creating enduring – even towering – levels of corporate success.

Too often, entrepreneurs mistakenly believe that the most important element in their business is their own contributions. Entrepreneurs are dynamic, multi-faceted people who can do many things very well. Sometimes, they fall into the belief that other people cannot do the things that they can do, as well as they can do them. Sadly, these “exclusive” entrepreneurs are unable to fully trust their employees to make mistakes, find solutions and grow in their roles to become experts in their areas of specialty.

This is a mammoth mistake. The one thing an entrepreneur does not want to do is exclude their employees from driving the direction of a business. To cultivate genuine success, an entrepreneur needs to embrace the unique talents and attributes of employees – encouraging opinions, best practice recommendations and a limitless optimism for an employee’s personal and professional growth. By bringing employees in, understanding fully their talents and embracing their full investment in a company’s success, everyone blossoms – the entrepreneur, the business, the workforce.  There is a big difference between a business owner with a bunch of helpers, and a business leader with many people believing in the direction and future of a business.

That difference, many times, is inclusivity – including the workforce in the goals and growth of the company. Inclusive Entrepreneurs create cultures that recognize work is only one part of an employee’s life. Inclusive Entrepreneurs celebrate, reward and motivate – regularly – an employee’s accomplishments, ideas and enthusiasm. Inclusive Entrepreneurs understand that amazing people, working together, engaged and committed to something special, will create success.

So, are you an authentic Inclusive Entrepreneur?

Ask yourself these five questions:

  • Do you fully encourage employee participation in formulating best practices?
  • Do you routinely reward contributions and accomplishments?
  • Do you encourage personal growth and create a professional growth path with employees?
  • Are you willing to change direction, trusting unequivocally in the advisement of key employees?
  • Do you care deeply that the culture you have created for your workforce is sweepingly uplifting?

To be an Inclusive Entrepreneur, one must be brave enough to trust the greatness of employees and forfeit the negative tendencies to micromanage. By realizing – and appreciating – that suggestions, theories and teachings of employees can advance a business in limitless ways; an entrepreneur can ascend to new levels of leadership success. The result: A happy company attaining prosperity thanks not to a dictator at the helm, but to a superb community of collective leadership.