“A brave leader has the confidence to stand alone, the courage to make tough decisions, & the compassion to listen to the needs of others. He becomes a good Leader by the equality of his actions & the integrity of his intent.” –Gen. Douglas MacArthur
Leadership Topics: Open Commu, Vision, Creativity, Hiring, Priorities, Focus, Inspire, Marketing, Role Model, Confidence & Optimistic, Partner. People, 1st Impression, Learning, Cash Flow, Community, Fun,
If you’re a Founder starting up, you want to make sure it keeps going. 8 out of 10 startups fail within two years, so how can yours be in the successful 20% ? The secret is to prepare your biz for the challenges that will come during those vulnerable early years by good Leadership. A Founder does not run a their business wisdom alone (they may have little or none) [If so come back to Wiz4.biz for the wisdom you need] Success comes with Leadership skills. Here are most important to help you succeed.
A. Core Values
#1. Open Communication is #1. Thru OC, an entrepreneur understands what employees’ needs are and what they believe would make the business succeed + shares the Goals & Vision of the Company to motivate the employees.
#2. Create an “inspiring” Vision. It’s your idea, but in order to move to the next level, your idea must blossom into a full-blown vision. Once you Startup, where do you want to go? How do you plan to get there? What’s the unique value, that sets your idea apart from everyone else? A successful entrepreneur can not only answer these questions, but can put together a compelling Vision that gets employees & prospective customer motivated.
#3. Encouraging Creativity. The ability to create something that is unique and of value, is essential to any Founder – as customers look to acquiring new products to add to there effectiveness & appeal run. Founders need to encourage “out of the box” thinking when things start to deviate from the initial plan. Founders who realize that their teams are their biggest asset, work to develop a culture where creativity & individual feedback are encouraged & valued. When team members feel empowered, they are willing to back you up when the going gets tough. They can help you overcome rough patches by offering new ideas on how to manage challenging situations.
#4. Hire “great” so you can Delegate. When you are in your startup phase, you are handling everything yourself. To grown, you have to start investing in great people to do tasks you shud no longer do. Learn to trust others to do the same quality & level of work you do.
#5. Choose your Battles to win !!! Set your Priorities. The most important things are: having a good product, gaining customers, making money, etc. When you are hunting Big Game, don’t bother with the rabbits.
#6. Focus. After a startup Founder has gathered together a team with the potential for excellence, the next thing s/he must do is encourage the team to Focus. A team is usually composed of individuals with different interests, skills & objectives. Somehow, the Founder must harness those different qualities into one tight-knit, high-performing team.
#7. Inspire. The Founder is not only the communicator of their Vision. You will never be successful, if your team does not buy into your Vision, or if they feel their good ideas for improving the vision are not being listened to. Then once everyone is on board, keep them clearly focused on the goal.”
#8. Develop your Marketing to get the word out to your Target Market. If you make an announcement, don’t expect people to just show up and buy from you. Don’t trust “word-of-mouth” either. Create a plan, then execute it. Closely monitor your results, so you find out what works & what doesn’t. Do Beta’s & Trials to get your product into the hands of Users. Then, listen to their feedback, so you know if you have to adjust – to better meet their needs.
#9. Be a good Role Model. A startup Founder must be able to lead his business by example. Their work ethic will encourage the others to follow his lead.
#10. Be Confidence & Optimistic A startup deals with what can be called a “baptism of fire.” There are challenges that a startup hurdles as it goes through the crucial first year of operation. In these trying months, an entrepreneur must exhibit confidence and optimism to encourage his staff to also believe in the company and the product or service. It is bad marketing for the company if an employee is himself or herself a non-believer.
#11. Choose the right Partner. When you’re founding the business with someone else or need help, make sure they are a good fit – both for you and the business. Select a Partner who brings something to the table that you don’t. Diversity is strength.
#12. People are your greatest Asset. A successful entrepreneur surrounds himself with top-quality employees & advisors. He values the opinions of his employees and takes the good advice. He treats them as family, not servants.
#13. Create a strong 1st Impression. You only get one chance for a first impression. Don’t miss an opportunity for face-to-face communication, where you can use body language that welcomes relating, estimated at over 50% of all communication. Limit the use of Email & Texting for early inter-actions.
#14. Pass on your Passion. Be driven by the passion of your Vision to inspire others at every opportunity – Team, prospective Customers & Investors. Many entrepreneurs see themselves as Chief Evangelists who are always spreading the word about their startup, because they are so inspired by it. They know that, among key leadership qualities, it’s vital to be able to excite others, then build on that excitement to move forward and become successful.
#15. Use Social Media & Networking to improve your Relationships. Savvy workers at all levels are using these sites to develop & strengthen their business relationships as well as to reconnect with previous business connections. (ie, LinkedIn) Make your own good luck by giving and seeking referrals.
#16. Keep your Tech Tools Sharp . . . to do business using mobile devices, network with peers thru Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, & other Social Media. A Techie must recognize that business must conform with the sweeping changes in technology and s/he + employees must be attuned to these changes. Techie Nerd must understand that the use of some Apps and/or SW could lead to better efficiency & productivity at the workplace.
#17. Keep up with what’s’ happening in your Industry. No great startup idea succeeds in a vacuum. An effective leader understands the importance of monitoring key industry trends—and moves made by existing & potential competitors—that can affect the success of their venture. A corresponding trait of is the ability to shift direction and make changes when external circumstances require flexibility. Without that, it’s impossible to stay ahead of the competition.
#18. Never stop Learning. A successful entrepreneur sees the values of learning: keeps up with all the latest trends in Industry, sends his employees to training.
#19. Monitor & Maintain Cash Flow. There’s nothing more harmful to a Startup than running out of $$$. A potentially successful startup must have a reserve of capital, both before launch and at startup. It’s up to the Founder to maintain liquidity. Many first timers do not have an appreciation of this problem, because they have no prior experience. They shouldn’t be caught in the dilemma of needing to raise additional equity before you’ve proven their product & company.
#20. Share Success with your Community. A successful entrepreneur knows that the key to “longevity” in the business is getting the community to support their business. As a token of appreciation, an entrepreneur always has the best interest of the community in mind. S/he sees the community as a partner in building the business.
#21. Don’t forget to Have Fun !!! Effective startup Founders are sometime so motivated by their Vision—and so passionate about making it come true—that they’re just aren’t fun to be around. They understand that success depends on hard work and gaining knowledge, but they also get that if they’re not having fun in the process, no one around them will either. So take a break. Set aside time on a regular basis to socialize, celebrate your progress
Conclusion: It’s unlikely any one startup Founder will startup with all of these leadership qualities in place. The good news is, with the right passion & drive, they can acquire what s/he or she needs to make it work. Compounding these strategies in today’s startup environment are two divergent concepts: 1) a heightened degree of “competitiveness”, and a greater emphasis on “teamwork”. This means you need even more emphasis on effectively leading others. To succeed in today’s collaborative, customer-driven, networked economy, requires real business relationship efforts by everyone involved.
Comments: Do you know any other Leadership traits that a Founder should have?
from Innovation Mgt & Startup Pros 5/109 enhanced by Peter/CXO Wiz4.biz