Successful and enduring entrepreneurship requires excellent leadership skills that go beyond having a clear vision and the ability to execute that vision. In other words, the skills that allowed you to build and sustain your business are different from those initially required to start it.
Once a business is up and running is often the point at which it stalls; a time when entrepreneurs encounter a different type of challenge – when gears must be shifted in order to take the company to the next level. If you are like most entrepreneurs, growth is an ongoing mission and stagnation is a four-letter word.
The eight business principles below are critical in order to continue building your business:
1. Do more than lead by example – They both do the job and chart the course. Customers and employees need to know that you not only can make the widgets, but that you can also look down the road and see where the widget fits into the big picture and tailor your business to always be in a position to win.
2. Focus – Remaining clear-headed and resolute in the midst of a storm inspires employees and customers to trust that you will be a good steward of their lives and assets. A good leader blocks out the chaos and stays true to the mission during troubling times, which are inevitable in any business.
3. Are gentle hard-asses – Great leaders don’t strut around pounding their chests and yelling at the top of their lungs (if you are effective, there will be no need to). President Roosevelt famously wrote “Speak softy and carry a big stick; you will go far.” By setting clear standards, providing the proper tools and demanding performance, not much more needs to be said – let alone yelled.
4. Use impatience to their advantage – Great leaders are reasonable impatient and as a result, push their employees and the organizations forward. Bad leaders are unreasonably impatient, causing their employees to make a habit of ignoring them.
5. Mentor – Demonstrating your concern for you employees overall well-being and development will create the type of loyalty that results in high performance. If you are a good leader, your employees will benefit from, and value your wisdom, insight and time.
6. Beware of ‘Servant Leadership’ Traps – You are not in your position to serve, but to lead. Often, too much emphasis is placed on service, and can be an enticing excuse to be a weak leader. While it maybe nice to have someone serve us ( i.e. a waiter, or barber…) what employees need and organizations must have is strong leadership.
7. Act strategically – Leaders must think several steps ahead and always be prepared to recalibrate. Armies march, but only in the direction that they’re led. Imagine the battles that would be lost if thousands of soldiers flipped a coin and simply headed in that direction? As a business leader – even if you are a one-man operation – it is your responsibility to Strategically map a winning course.
8. Succeed – People follow and want to be associated with winners. The best way to ensure victory s to create and execute a strong business model laden with sound strategy and clear tactics. We invite you to become a member to help avoid some common mistakes, while helping you to make the best decisions for your business!