We picked the EMP to do this work because we believe it is the most practical and comprehensive tool on the market for defining and measuring the entrepreneurial mindset. Throughout this book, you will hear us refer to terms such as entrepreneurial mindset, entrepreneurial personality traits, and entrepreneurial skills. An entrepreneurial mindset, as we established in Chapter 1, can be explained as “a combination of skills and ways of thinking that, when combined, lead a person to have entrepreneurial tendencies.” But the research team at the LDI at Eckerd College further breaks it down for us.
The research team hypothesized that certain traits tend to be more deeply engrained in entrepreneurial people, such as the need to achieve and risk acceptance. Similarly, certain skills are prevalent throughout entrepreneurial populations, like persistence and self-confidence. The underlying question, “Are entrepreneurs born or made?” does not yield a satisfying yes-or-no answer. Instead, this research team concluded that entrepreneurial people are both born and made.
To reach these conclusions, the research team at the LDI at Eckerd College built an assessment tool to examine different entrepreneurial variables. As shared with us by the EMP research team in February 2022, over 26,800 EMPs have been completed, and the norm group has expanded to 1,047 corporate managers and 1,702 entrepreneurs.
This research has concluded that 14 personality traits and skills define one’s entrepreneurial mindset. Seven of these personality traits are more intrinsic, hard-to-change entrepreneurial characteristics, while six are more malleable entrepreneurial skills. The EMP authors chose to include one additional skill, interpersonal sensitivity, as a research point. It was the only variable for which entrepreneurs scored lower than corporate managers. We chose to include it in the book because we believe it is an overlooked skill that is fundamental to understanding purpose-driven, entrepreneurial women.
As the EMP research team administered the assessment, key differences began to appear between people who were drawn into managerial positions versus those who were building new initiatives or organizations. It is now a tool that many corporations and large organizations use to understand and best position the people working on their staff for success. For our purposes, it has helped us to study what entrepreneurial traits and skills are key in leading purpose-driven organizations.
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