5. Exceptional intelligence
The entrepreneur, although unable to conform to traditional structures, is of aboveaverage intelligence and coupled with a very strong self-belief, this may come off as arrogance. The ability to see a risk as an opportunity and make the leap from an idea to a business venture takes a moderate amount of blindness to the obvious pitfalls and a mind that operates on all kinds of levels simultaneously. A study conducted by the Kauffman Institute showed that 75% of the 549 company founders in the study ranked their academic performance among the top 30% of their high school classes, and 52% said they ranked among the top 10%. In college, 67% of the founders ranked among the top 30% of their undergraduate classes, and 37% ranked their performance among the top 10%.
In 1983, Dr Howard Gardner, from Harvard University, postulated that the traditional definition of intelligence is too limited and proposed that there are in fact eight intelligences that cover the broad spectrum of human potential.
One of the key defining characteristics of entrepreneurs is that they possess more than one aptitude or intelligence. Being good with words, connecting easily to people, having the capacity to ref lect back on oneself and analyse mistakes are all separate intelligences, according to Gardener, and all are demonstrated by those daring to call themselves entrepreneurs. So, when you next see a wellspoken, likeable person who happens to be walking his dogs while on the phone and waving to passers-by, consider that you might have been in the presence of the lesser-understood, achievement-seeking, risk-taking entrepreneur.