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A powerful personal entrepreneurial competency-high inner locus of control

One of the key personal entrepreneurial competencies (PEC’s) that we look for in aspiring beneficiaries is the PEC of a relatively high internal locus of control.

Sometime ago, I asked a senior manager in a business development environment a question regarding the cause of failure in the businesses they serve. If the business is the horse, and the jockey is the entrepreneur “on the horse”, does one or the other feature more in business closure/failure?

Her immediate reply appears to confirm my thoughts. She replied that in most cases the challenge came because of the jockey, not the business model.

So a focus on developing strong personal entrepreneurial competencies (PEC’S) is not only smart, it is vital and essential.

There are a variety of lists of PEC’s, but I want to focus on one of the 5 that we use in selection.

This is the PEC of those having a high internal locus of control.

When you are dealing with a challenge in your life, do you feel that you have control over the outcome?  Or do you believe that you are simply at the hands of outside forces? If you believe that you have control over what happens, then you have what psychologists refer to as an internal locus of control. If you believe that you have no control over what happens and that external variables are to blame, then you have what is known as an external locus of control.

What Is Locus of Control?”  A locus of control orientation is a belief about whether the outcomes of our actions are contingent on what we do (internal control orientation) or on events outside our personal control (external control orientation).” (Zimbardo, 1985)

There appears to be a clear correlation between those with a developed inner locus of control and success.

Those with an internal locus of control:

  • Are more likely to take responsibility for their actions
  • Tend to be less influenced by the opinions of other people
  • Often do better at tasks when they are allowed to work at their own pace
  • Usually have a strong sense of self-efficacy
  • Tend to work hard to achieve the things they want
  • Feel confident in the face of challenges
  • Tend to be physically healthier
  • Report being happier and more independent
  • Often achieve greater success in the workplace

Those with an external locus of control:

  • Blame outside forces for their circumstances
  • Often credit luck or chance for any successes
  • Don’t believe that they can change their situation through their own efforts
  • Frequently feel hopeless or powerless in the face of difficult situations
  • Are more prone to experiencing learned helplessness

I have found that those who score higher in internal locus of control appear to “bounce back” quickly; respond to learning situations sooner and see opportunities faster.

Here’s to taking responsibility for where we are….and where we are going.

Kind regards


PS: Next week will be the last weekly email until the middle of January 2017


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