Leadership and the Entrepreneur




Some people would suggest that entrepreneurial leadership in business and in startup business is all about forced ranking assessments, management by walking around, pay for performance and so forth.  While each of these have value they don’t address the skills needed for an entrepreneur or an entrepreneurial company.

Leadership in business is less complex than some would have you think, more specific than many realize and more about creating an environment people want to be a part of than we care to admit.

Think about this for a minute… what is the purpose of a business?  The answer we were all taught was “to maximize owner and shareholder equity.”  In other words, to make money.  When all is said and done you make money through your people.  Yes…people.  Your people are what distinguish you from your competition.  It is about applying the knowledge that combines human behavior with business processes to maximize your organizations performance and profitability.

 So how does this happen.  Like everything, it starts at the beginning.  There are key things you must do to create this environment where people willingly come to work and give it their all.  Whether you call them traits, qualities, characteristics or skills doesn’t matter.  What matters is that you develop them, use them and realize their value.

 Your business started with a VISION.  As the leader you must not only develop that vision but you must communicate it in a compelling way that inspires.

 You have to motivate others to want to be a part of and achieve your vision.  We call that PASSION.  That emotion, expressed honestly and effectively, will cause others to do whatever it takes to realize your vision.

 Your employees, your team, expect you to lead them effectively.  That means when they come to you for answers they know that your ability to give them what they ask is critical.  Your ability to MAKE DECISIONS is critical to both the success and survivability of your business.  Have a method, include others and communicate that.

 You cannot succeed in your business alone.  It takes others to “get you there”.  You have to BUILD A TEAM.  It takes different skills, different abilities and openness to build a team.  Your ability to be open to the input and contributions of others is critical for success.  Don’t create a you versus the world environment.  Create a shared responsibility and accountability environment where everything that helps advance the business is welcomed.

People don’t just follow anyone.  You can have all of the things above and still not have a successful business.  You need to have certain aspects, behaviors, traits, what ever you wish to label them as to bring all of that together.  You need CHARACTER.  Those strengths that demonstrate you are the leader, that cause people to want to work with or for you.  That make real all of the other four things; bringing them into a single force that creates the business you have dreamed of, accomplishes your vision and mission, while providing a powerful sense of satisfaction and accomplishment.

Without leadership you have nothing more than stuff.  Eventually stuff just becomes things that are in the way and no one wants it around anymore.  You want to create something to be proud of.  Something that others will admire and respect.  Lead your business toward that goal.  Become the Entrepreneurial Leader and achieve those things.