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McK PEI - Entrepreneurial Drive

New answer on Feb 29, 2024
4 Answers
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Anonymous A asked on Mar 23, 2018

Hi PrepLounge, preparing for McK's PEI example on Entrepreneurial Drive and had 2 specific questions:

1. How literally should the "Entrepreneurial" part be taken? Does it have to be an entrepreneurship related event or can it be any example that stems from self-driven initiative?

2. Under the PARADE method, how would you communicate "decision-making rationale" in an Entrepreneurial Drive PEI example? It seems much easier to think about decision-making rationale for a Conflict Management example - essentially weigh options out loud on what path would best resolve conflict etc. However, it just seems a little harder to apply this similar thinking to the Entrepreneurial Drive example. Curious to hear your thoughts on this.

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Content Creator
replied on Feb 29, 2024
#1 rated MBB & McKinsey Coach

Hi there!

Taking your points one by one. 

1. Entrepreneurial should rather be about you identifying an opportunity and then creatively problem-solving towards delivering it. That's the main focus of it. 

2. I'm not a big fan of PARADE as a structure, but the way you can explain the decision making rationale is to clarify what was your thinking through that process. This matters generally in the PEI - being able to give a clear what was going in through your head and what was happening with the other stakeholders around you. 

For anybody who is looking into the PEI topic, I recently released this end-to-end course covering PEI. More on it here:


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Content Creator
updated an answer on Mar 23, 2018
McKinsey offers w/o final round interviews - 100% risk-free - 10+ years MBB coaching experience - Multiple book author


1) How literally should the "Entrepreneurial" part be taken?

In case that you have an entrepreneurial background, this for sure helps to find appropriate examples for your McKinsey PEI - but it's perfectly fine to have an example from a self-driven initiative. In a nutshell the core criteria for an entrepreneurial drive example:

  • Achieving a goal which is clearly outside your regular role and responsibilities
  • You wanted to achieve something by yourself (and no one else imposed this task on you) and can explain a strong motivation behind
  • Several big obstacles which you needed to overcome

2) Under the PARADE method, how would you communicate "decision-making rationale"?

The basic idea of the decision-making rationale is to show that you approached the situation/challenge in a structured way. In respect to the decision-making rationale for the entrepreneurial drive dimension, it's mainly about explaining your approach on how to overcome a difficult situation towards your goal in this structured way of thinking.

E.g. for overcoming a certain obstacle, you had 3 options on how to proceed, which you can weigh against each other and finally proceed with 1 specific option due to reasons a, b and c.

Hope that helps!



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Anonymous B on Nov 24, 2020

Hi Robert, I am the first in my family who has earned a uni degree. Also I graduated with highest distinction. Do you think these achievements would make a good entrepreneurial drive story? Or should it be more related to the business field? Thanks!


Robert on Nov 24, 2020

Hi, Without all details at hand I cannot give solid advice - but rather not. All candidates have a university degree and comparably good marks (maybe not always with distinction but still not bad), so that is actually the minimum I except you to have anyway. Depending on the specific challenges involved for you it might be possible to form a strong PEI example out of that, but we would need to discuss details in a coaching session though.

Anonymous replied on Jul 24, 2020

Dear A,

Good questions. But you're right. Sounds quite similar that may bewilder.

Below you can find some examples of the questions that would help you to understand better Entrepreneurial Drive dimensions of PEI:

  • Did you ever have a goal that you weren’t able to achieve? What did you do?
  • Tell me about a time that you dealt with a tough problem.
  • Tell me about a failure.



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Content Creator
replied on May 03, 2020
McKinsey | Awarded professor at Master in Management @ IE | MBA at MIT |+180 students coached | Integrated FIT Guide aut


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