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Talented enough to be a business leader? An alternative approach to entrepreneurs’ traits



Objective: The objective of the article is to identify character strengths that contribute to one’s success at various stages of the development of an entrepreneurial venture: opportunity recognition, the refinement of business concept, resource acquisition, survival, and growth.

Research Design & Methods: The article is conceptual in nature. We propose a framework of character strengths and stages of development of the entrepreneurial venture, which is based on an exhaustive literature review.

Findings: The article proposes that different character strengths contribute to one’s success at various stages of venture development: curiosity, creativity, open-mindedness, and hope at the stage of opportunity recognition; bravery, integrity, love of learning, social intelligence, and kindness at the stage of refinement of business concept and resource acquisition; persistence, self-regulation, zest, humour, leadership, teamwork, and fairness at the stage of survival and growth. Moreover, We propose that perspective allows entrepreneurs to accumulate experience and recognize and exploit further opportunities.

Implications & Recommendations: The study has implications mainly for entrepreneurs (recommendation for higher self-awareness) and investors (investment in entrepreneur’s strength bundled with investment in the business).

Contribution & Value Added: This study adds to the understanding of mechanisms through which personal differences influence entrepreneurial actions and their outcomes. It adds to our understanding of specific entrepreneurship phenomena like entrepreneurial alertness or business planning. Thirdly, it contributes to the understanding not only of market entry but also of pre-entry and post-entry phenomena.



entrepreneurial process, talents, character strengths, leaderships, traits, Big Five, entrepreneurial venture, entrepreneurs behaviors, business leader

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Author Biography

Przemysław Zbierowski

Associate professor at the University of Economics in Katowice, head of Department of Human Resource Management. His research interests include positive psychology and its implication in management, entrepreneurship with the special scope psychology of entrepreneurship and mental health and well-being of entrepreneurs, and leadership, especially the use of positive approach to investigate the outcomes of leaders’ style and behaviors.


Milena Gojny-Zbierowska

Assistant Professor at the University of Economics in Katowice, at the Department of Entrepreneurship. Her research interests include psychology of business and entrepreneurship with the special focus on positive leadership, perceived organizational support, psychological capital and psychological safety.


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