Samuel Ngigi, Dorothy McCormick, Paul Kamau


The objective of this article is to present the key entrepreneurial leadership competencies which CEOs need in order to play their entrepreneurial roles optimally. Despite the instrumental role played by entrepreneurial leadership in development process and the potential entrepreneurial leadership hold in enhancing firm performance, little research work has been done to identify the entrepreneurial leadership competencies and understand the ways and strategies through which they are acquired and developed in Kenyan context. The study used a mixed methods research design which combined three different data collection methods to generate rich primary data, which were then subjected to both quantitative and qualitative analysis. This study used primary data obtained from CEOs of mid-sized companies and entrepreneurial leadership experts through a survey, case studies and Delphi methods. The combination of these methods was intended to help improve the validity of results and also allow for complementarity in data collection for the purposes of attaining high levels of completeness. The research established that the top entrepreneurial leadership competencies are: Innovativeness; proactiveness; being decisive; adaptability and flexibility; foresight; risk taking; being ambitious and performance oriented; ability to identify and articulate a vision; ethics and integrity; being informed; positive; effective bargainer; having intellectual versatility; emotional intelligence and personal mastery; being improvement oriented and organizational savvy. Others included being independent, being intellectually stimulating, being diplomatic and having global mindset. The study concludes with a call for scholars and experts in the area of entrepreneurship to continuously re-examine the leadership competencies required for success in the dynamic, complex and uncertain competitive business landscape- largely because competencies are context specific. This will help to update the key competencies in tandem with the emerging challenges and therefore effectively guide the process of entrepreneurial leadership development especially in regard to necessary competencies to be nurtured and the methods and strategies to achieve that. There is need for sustained investment in research on entrepreneurial leadership competencies as this will provide a framework to state and non-state actors involved in promoting entrepreneurial leadership development among the citizenship.

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