There are stark differences between immigrant business leaders and those who were born in the United States. As a whole, an immigrant leader is someone constantly aware of the surrounding business climate. An aware leader can see opportunities all across the marketplace and not just in a small niche. Opportunities are broad. Opportunities are everywhere, and the immigrant leader’s eyes are open to them. It seems that American-born leaders are focused on finding clear and specific opportunities that suit them, rather than the broader holes in the marketplace. Forbes columnist Glenn Llopis argues that immigrant leaders are the answer to our economic problems. All businesspeople need to start thinking like they’re immigrants.
Businesses need to be more aware of the opportunities around them. A study from the Alexis de Tocqueville Institution found that of 250 U.S. patents that have been recently issued, 19% were issued to immigrants or to a collaborative team that includes immigrants. The percentage of immigrants in the U.S. population is around half that. So great opportunities aren’t a rarity, most people just aren’t actively looking for them.