I have come across many a entrepreneur or leader tell me with an attitude that living an ordinary life wasn’t his or her calling. Someone who had the same feeling even as a professional entrepreneur before I could actually turn as one, I used to agree with them.
Becoming or being an entrepreneur holding on to a great product or a service idea that is expected to create value in a market and/or maximise revenue resources to satiate the needs of a larger stakeholder group beyond oneself is not an ordinary calling.
Especially in a world full of employees most of whom are either complacent or self-content to be ever-seeking for an employer, and perhaps at the same time evolve as a leader being at the helm of organisational functions that could mould them either towards managerial or leadership excellence in due course.
On the contrary committing yourself personally, professionally, legally and financially to owning an all round responsibility of commissions and omissions on your journey towards forming a successful enterprise through seeking entrepreneurship and evolving as a leader is certainly a special calling.
I strongly believe that we were all called to live an extraordinary life. Becoming a leader through a special calling in the sense of becoming an entrepreneur by taking a career risk though may still look like a vertical approach, along with it if that were to happen through an extraordinaryism or by disruptive intervention or invention, then this is what is called the horizontal approach.
In order to reach the goals of an extraordinyism, you need to equip yourselves with extraordinary skills. So, the question to ask yourself is, ‘What’s the most extraordinary skill to posses for an entrepreneur or an employee?’ Is it a vertical skill or a horizontal skill?
I have studied the history of many greatest and notorious personalities in the world right from east to the west, the great conquerors to the most fascist tyrants. One thing which is common to all the greatest people in the history is that they have all based their lives on discovering and applying absolute truths to the questions of their life that have set them apart from the rest. So, I strongly believe that in order to get to the absolute truth of the questions that you may have, you must first determine the most valuable thing in the world so that the skill to acquire that thing becomes the answer to these kind of questions of life.
I have tried to observe all these years what people considered the most valuable thing in their life through my numerous encounters with friends, relatives , employees, colleagues, and people from various walks of lives including that of the spiritual sages.
Those that appealed visibly catching my attention in terms of priority that I could see which meant to different people in different ways as the most valuable thing predominatly were Power, money, gold, real estate property, family, friendship, love, a successful business, good reputation, health and peace of mind.
When asked a majority would have said Money. No doubt that money can buy anything and be an answer to any effort in itself worth seeking an absolute truth. But, money alone can not be the only factor that can equalise or multiply the worth of the very same money.
If by merely putting money, you can make great business or become a great entrepreneur or a leader, then money would have been the solution for all your problems. Great companies, entrepreneurs or leaders have not been born or built only by money or by money at all.
The combined market value of Microsoft and Google by no imagination is astounding including the fact that both the companies were started by two sets of friends who seem to have mastered the art of nurturing trustworthy friendship a key horizontal skill apart from many vertical advantages they could bring to the table together.
So, the most valuable thing for an entrepreneur today would be to create trustworthy friendships out of everyone, business partners, customers and employees. If that is true, then the skill of acquiring trustworthy friendship especially turning a stranger into a friend would be the most valuable skill that which is not taught or tested unlike your other vertical skills. Infact, you were taught against it as, ‘don’t talk to strangers’ right as a kid or you yourself still probably do the same with your own kids perhaps. Talking to strangers or making friends out of strangers is definitely a special skill. Its not merely a soft skill. Its rather a horizontal skill as you have to disrupt the social milue to do so. Any skill is not used or misused for the very purpose that it is intended for, then what you see is a problem of a social kind.
As an entrepreneur you have to inject friendship into the organisation so that it can positively impact the culture of your organisation and employee engagement. As an employee you should practice the most valuable skill at job so you can increase the collaborative performance and happiness at work.
The success or failure of an entrepreneur as a leader or an employee depends on their ability to master this most valuable, horizontal skill – that which helps creating and nurturing trustworthy friendship out of everyone.
The author is Jhon Arokiasamy, Founder and leadership strategist at Persona