If you are an entrepreneur, no matter what your company size, you must be a leader. It remains to know what kind of leader : to be followed or to be ignored. If you choose the first path, you need to keep in mind that successful leadership requires more than talent, tact is needed.
But before we talk about the ingredients of successful leadership, let’s brainstorm: what is it to be a leader?
According to the New Aurélio dictionary it is:
- Individual who heads, commands and / or guides, in any type of action, company or line of ideas.
- Guide, boss or conductor that represents a group, a chain of opinion, etc.
That’s exactly why not every boss is a leader: he can lead a person or more to an action, positive or not.
Promoting the best seller from the store to the sales manager can backfire. Being good at customer service, negotiation and closing, for example, does not guarantee that he or she will manage a team well, or that it relates well to its immediate peers. That is, before selecting an employee for a position, you need to evaluate the profile. Otherwise, the good salesman can lead a team to the hole.
An entrepreneur has no escape: he is in charge and must act as such. So to keep the company on track, nothing better than hearing the words of great managers about leadership .
A survey by Entrepreneur magazine, one of the most recognized publications on entrepreneurship in the world, has raised the qualities of a leader :
“You can not focus on small things, and you need to be less distracted than your competitors. To complete what needs to be done, one must develop a high level of selective ignorance. Otherwise, the trivial will drown you. “
Tim Ferris , American entrepreneur, bestselling author like Work 4 hours a week .
“A leader inspires confidence and wins followers by having a clear vision, showing empathy, and being a good teacher. As a woman, to be recognized, I had to show assertiveness and even a certain presumption, but I always try to maintain goodness and generosity. These characteristics, together, are important for gaining respect. “
Barri Rafferty , CEO of Ketchum
“I never liked the concept of ‘wearing a mask’. As a leader, the only way I know to win the trust of my teams and colleagues has been to be 100% authentic and open.Sometimes failures occur, but we must always maintain a passion for our work.This allowed me and gave me the freedom to be present and consistent. Teams know what they will always receive. No surprises. “
Keri Potts , ESPN Public Relations Director
“Our employees are a direct reflection of the values we apply as leaders. If we act from a reactive and obsolete action manual that starts from the need to be right rather than doing what is right, we will limit business potential and lose qualified talent. If you focus on being authentic in all your activities, you will pass these features on to your business, to your corporate culture. “
Gunnar Lovelace , Vice-CEO and Co-Founder of Thrive Market
“Leaders are not people ready, they are shaped. I arrived in America with no money and belongings, except my gym bag, but I could not remain without anything. Other people gave me inspiration and fantastic advice, and so I was moved by my beliefs and guided internally by my passions. That is why I am always willing to offer motivation to friends and strangers. I know the power of inspiration, and if anyone needs a hand to reach their goals, I’m more than willing to help. “
Arnold Schwarzenegger , actor and former governor of California
Other characteristics common to great leaders
In this given list you can see other characteristics described by great managers. However, from these five you can already have a good idea of what it takes.
But we go further …
In addition to presenting these qualities, you need to guide your actions. Aware of this, a survey conducted by one of the largest consultancies in the area of Leadership and Personal Development, Lolly Daskal, concluded that the greatest leaders in the world :
- They value and know people. They show that everyone has great importance and they do this by talking to employees in the workplace, listening to what people have to say and learning from it.
- They empathize and pay attention to people – and never ignore them. And also, as Keri Potts and Gunnar Lovelance advise, you need to be transparent and honest.
Great leaders take the blame but divide the credit. If a strategy or action goes wrong, it is your fault, not the one who executed it. They probably did as requested, or were not accompanied to adjust edges. However, leaders do nothing on their own. Your teams need to be prepared. You have to recognize the job well done.
Remember the story of the seller at the beginning of this text? For Daskal, it is important to delegate responsibilities , but at the same time to follow up on processes, opinion and help. That is, leadership training programs are always valid.
What’s more, by delegating, you will be following two other recommendations from the consultant – appreciating and challenging talents. According to her, the best ideas come when people leave their comfort zones.
Finally, the specialist recommends investing in employees: time and money result in growth and learning and, consequently, less costs than maintaining an untrained team.
And your teams, how are they? Reflect and adopt these postures to be a leader that makes a difference.