Leadership is not dead! Though it may seem it’s been missing lately, there’s still a pulse. Look to the entrepreneurial community and you’ll find leadership in many quarters, whether it’s Richard Branson or in the retiring genius- Steve Jobs. While passion, persistence and problem solving abilities are essential elements for an entrepreneur, leadership is right up there and much overlooked in my opinion.
As a leader in your business, you’ll be responsible for bringing your business to life, framing the culture, and bringing the critical elements together for a winning business model. As a leader, you need to make decisions, instill confidence and inspire your team and key stakeholders. Think about it, if you’re an aspiring entrepreneur and you’re trying to raise capital, investors want to know that you’ve got what it takes. Demonstrating leadership ability, especially during tough times, is going to get you over that hurdle. Your stakeholders are more likely to work harder to meet those objectives. As an entrepreneur who’s running a business- or just starting out, the buck will stop with you, so you need to embrace that. Let your team know that you’re there right in the thick of it and that you’re capable of making key decisions. Don’t fall prey to the following leadership pitfalls:
1) Vacillating: Nothing is worse than a leader who constantly vacillates back and forth all the time when making decisions. If you’re unsure of a decision, seek out expert opinion and advice. Get a level of comfort that’s right for you and make the decision.
2) Complaining: Complaining about staff or blaming a lack of work ethic doesn’t help win points on the leadership scale. It’s up to you to set the tone and execute what’s necessary to lead your team forward. If something’s wrong or pervasive, investigate the root cause and put a plan in place to fix. If necessary, prioritize and check each ‘item’ off one by one.
3) Micro-managing: Don’t micromanage staff. It’s not a productive use of your time and your staff will consequently feel like you’re treating them like children. Empower your staff to do their jobs, make decisions, and provide accountability. Be a leader that can make decision, instill confidence and inspire. That’s how you’re going to succeed and build a business that’s here for the long haul.