The 5 Essential Skills of an Entrepreneur, and More Insights…

Mar 3, 2017Padraig's Insights

Padraig’s Insights for the week


The 5 essential skills of an entrepreneur


When we talk about entrepreneurship and the essential skills, there are 5 that are typically known to be critical: persuasion, leadership, accountability, goal orientation and interpersonal skills.

I believe that the most essential is interpersonal skills, or EQ.

I watched a YouTube video recently of Goleman talking to a group of people in Google.

He asked what the correlation was between IQ and EQ but it turns out there is none – it’s a scattergraph.

However, what differentiates good business leaders from great business leaders is in fact EQ.

EQ is your ability to understand yourself, regulate yourself, intrinsic motivation to do things beyond reward, understand others, and regulate and manage your relationships with others.

We also call it interpersonal skills.

When you start at the bottom of the pile it doesn’t matter if your IQ is low.

But as you move up, it’s assumed that you have the technical skills, and EQ becomes really important. It comes down to your ability to work with others.

When I look at entrepreneurs, I find that they are quite often not strong on interpersonal skills, but if you want to make it to the top of a company and really succeed, it’s critical.


A visioning exercise


We use a model called ‘The ONE Thing Plan’ with our clients to help them develop strategy.

I want to focus on the middle section, the section in blue called ‘Inside-Out Visioning’.


When we think of visioning we think of three core ideas.


The first is enduring purpose, something that is bigger than a goal or an objective. Why do you exist? What is the purpose of your existence?

In our case, for example, we have written ‘to help leaders, their teams and organisations reframe themselves for greater success and to become all they can be.’

This has nothing to do with our goals, objectives or business plan – it’s why we exist.

The second one is how do we operate and interact with the world. We call this operating principles, the idea of values.

We use simple things like simplicity, pragmatism, reliability, tenacity and so on.

The case we make is that if you interact with us, this is what you will experience.

The third element of the ‘Inside-Out Visioning’ exercise is your mission, or your Big Hairy Audacious Goal (BHAG). In our case it’s to build a business, to do XYZ by a certain date. It’s a goal!

The example often given to explain the difference between purpose and mission is the one that’s given between NASA and the first man on the moon.

NASA exists to explore space for the betterment of humanity. That’s their enduring purpose. You can see that it’s timeless and that it transcends all goals and objectives.

Their mission, on the other hand, was to put a man on the moon and bring him back safely within a decade.

So, the three elements of the ‘Inside-Out Visioning’ exercise that you should do when you’re thinking about this: Why do you exist? What are your principles and values? What is your Big Hairy Audacious Goal?



Rules for being human


I want to share something with you that I find really funny. It’s called ‘10 Rules for Being Human’.

  1. You will receive a body. Like it or lump it, it’s yours for the duration!
  2. You will learn lessons.
  3. There are no mistakes, only lessons. The failed experiments are as much a part of the learning process as the ones that work.
  4. Each lesson will be repeated until it’s learned.
  5. The sobering one: there’s no end to the lessons! If you’re alive, you’re learning.
  6. There is no better than here.
  7. Others are merely mirrors of you.
  8. What you make of your life is up to you.
  9. Your answers lie within you.
  10. And the choice is yours!



A little bit of what you fancy – habit forming 101


We had a client visit us today. We’re on the top floor of a Georgian building and when he got to the top he was out of breath.

This surprised me because he’s an ex marathon runner!

When I asked him about it he told me that he stopped training because he doesn’t have time.

I offered him the following advice:

I work out every day and I meditate every morning and every evening. The reason I do it is because I do it!

This morning for example I was running out of time so I meditated for 10 minutes instead of 30. There are days I go out for my run and I only do 2 or 3 miles, or even 1 or 2!

It’s about forming the habit.

If you want to build a daily habit, don’t lock yourself into having to meditate for 30 minutes or do a 10 mile run. Just get out there and do something!

Form the habit so that it automatically becomes something you do every day.



Ask questions


I was talking to a client of mine the other day and he said he wanted to give me some advice.

I’m known to be more of a talker than a listener and he suggested that to help me with my communication, I should do the following.

He said. ‘before you speak, Padraig, pause! Count to three and then ask a question’.

He advised me to never use ‘but’ or ‘however’ and to use ‘and’ more. In every conversation find something good to say at the beginning. He said you need 5 positive things for one negative.

I think what he was broadly saying was that we have two ears and one mouth for a reason!



Final thoughts…


Out of the five essential skills of an entrepreneur –  persuasion, leadership, accountability, goal orientation and interpersonal skills – I believe that the most critical of these is interpersonal skills, or EQ.

A great visioning exercise is to ask yourself the following questions: Why do I exist? What are my principles and values? What is my Big Hairy Audacious Goal?

If you want to form a daily habit, don’t be too hard on yourself and lock yourself into big time commitments.

Just do what you can, but be consistent. If some days you can only run for 10 minutes – that’s fine! It’s better than no time at all.

Finally, I think we could all benefit from listening more. If you have something negative to say, make sure to point out at least five positive things first.

We have two ears and only one mouth, so be sure to use them in proportion.

10 Things Successful People Do Every Day

10 Things Successful People Do Every Day

What if there was a secret formula for success that you could copy? Kevin Kruse best selling author recently interviewed more than 200 highly successful people to find out what their number 1 secret to productivity? These people included 7 billionaires and 13 olympians. The answers have been distilled into 10 Simple Steps you can follow to achieve your own success.

5 mistakes people make with the DISC profile

5 mistakes people make with the DISC profile

When you are hiring, you need to use more than DISC. DISC is outwardly observable behavioural tendencies. What goes on beneath the surface is harder to read but even more powerful. What if you could see what a person values and is driven by, be it money, status, helping others? How much engagement could you get from your employees if you had this information at your finger tips. Using DISC correctly and in conjunction with the other TTI Tools is essential for your organisation’s success.

3 Easy Steps to Building a Solid Company Culture

3 Easy Steps to Building a Solid Company Culture

Companies need to reimagine how they attract – and retain – employees by giving them what they desire, resulting in keeping them happier and more engaged. I am unique. So is every other employee. Companies would be wise to get to know their employees on a personal level and find out what is truly important to each and every one of them. Then, create a unique plan for each person that helps the employee achieve what he or she strives to achieve.


Join me, Padraig Berry, and Ronan Flood for an in dept discussion where we will give you our best tips to forming highly successful teams.

Some of the topics we will cover are:

  • Absence of Trust
  • Fear of Conflict.
  • Lack of Commitment.
  • Accountability.
  • How to achieve Collective Success.


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