… the common attributes of great leaders
Cheers to a new week
Today’s post is a short article on startup leadership. Leadership is a critical part of a startup, the leadership determines the work environment, the vibe and the success margin of a startup. It is especially crucial at he startup stage as it determines whether the the business will stand through the test of time or fall.
Some leaders are charismatic, while some are transformational. Although there are similarities between the two, transformational leaders tend to appeal to the team’s values and stimulate strong emotions about the mission itself, while charismatic leaders focus on the emotional connection and the team tends to follow the leader versus the mission. A startup needs a transformational leader with charismatic traits who can create a purpose, and stimulate motivation and drive among team members.
To achieve success in a startup, you as a founder need to work on yourself to be able to influence your team. Most importantly, in everything you do, you have to be your authentic self. You need to stay true to who you are at the core and not pretend to be someone else. All leaders are inherently different but some attributes which can be improved on are essential to being a great leader.
Have a strong Vision: Having a strong vision that resonates with the team is crucial and acts as a go to place when confronting challenges.
“The vision needs to be realistic and consider the context or system you are hoping to transform. A vision needs to be shared and moulded if it aims to become real. Having open mindedness and good communication practices will allow the organization to share the vision, rally around it, and build towards it as a team.” — Jacqueline Heard (Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Enko Chem)
Communicate Clearly: As an effective leader, you are going to have to engage people at all levels of business and ensure that they understand exactly what is needed of them. A good communicator is able to get a message across and diffuse any ambiguity. Make sure to provide your team members with contextual knowledge regarding the purpose their work is serving, and create opportunities for them to ask you questions directly. As long as you have other people you’re working with, it pays to work on communicating clearly.
Personal Integrity and Loyalty: A leader is someone a team wants to follow, usually because they have shown personal integrity and do not shy away from what may be unpopular but necessary decisions. Employees need to know that they can rely on the leadership for thoughtful guidance and support. You should avoid behaviors that diminishes trust and credibility in a leader like favoritism, conflicts of interests, inappropriate language, inappropriate work relationships, etc. Providing your team members with the resources they need to succeed will go a long way in securing their loyalty to you and the company.
Be Flexible: A great leader is able to take the appropriate action to keep his team on track even in the middle of unexpected events. It is vital for a startup leader to be flexible and adaptable. It’s important to remember that there’s more than one path to success with any given task. If you’re too focused on the “right” way of doing things, you might miss out on a better alternative route. Demonstrating a willingness to take action in the face of change is also essential.
Confident, Passionate and Passion: A great deal of positivity is required to lead a startup. There are always going to be setbacks along the road to success, but a positive mindset can make it a smooth ride. If you lead the way with a passionate, positive outlook, your team members will follow suit. True confidence lies in actually believing in something; its potential, its quality, its uniqueness, and its chances of success. Since the business is still small and there are not that many external factors to boost the confidence of the team members working with you, your confidence in what you are building with your team is important to motivate them. You should be confident enough about your abilities, your business, your strategy, your decision, and your team.
Decision Makers: You need to be making the right decisions regarding your business plan, strategy, and team building. As a leader, you shouldn’t make decisions based on emotions or assumptions. Decisions should be date driven, logical, practical and align with company ethics, values and goals.
“Things go wrong all the time. It is important to be patient and to not give up, to stay on the road for the long term. I always like to zoom out and think about the bigger picture. Even when things go wrong, looking at the strategic plan helps me keep the discipline and drive to achieve the longterm objective.” — Francine Gervazio (Chief Executive Officer, Avrios)
There is no one size fits all answer to leading a startup to success. Having the right combination of leadership ingredients, ordering their priority, and aligning them with the organization and its members are crucial to elevating the chances of success. Always put your best foot forward every day and your tem will respond to your efforts.
There you have it,
Be your authentic self and you will earn the trust and support of your team
Have any additions? Share them with me in the comment section
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