by Dr. Alok Trivedi, author of “Chasing Success: Lessons in Aligned Performance“
An entrepreneur must stand tall with their shoulders back, and head held high to enter into the daunting throes of business leadership. It takes big vision and a determined nature to make it in this game. The skills of great leaders can be intimidating for many to take on, but with hard work and determination, it is possible. The transition from employee to employer is tough to grasp, but a strong foundation of leadership skills can further the success of you and your company.
The following seven tips are characteristics that all strong entrepreneurial leaders possess:
1. Great leaders are in perfect alignment.
These people are true and authentic to themselves. They do not lead based on other people’s expectations. As an entrepreneur this can be particularly impactful to your audience. These leaders are open to feedback. They listen critically to what their employees say and make changes for the good of the team. Strong leaders that are in alignment to their true selves and mission do not worry about other’s expectations. Although they consider advice or input from colleagues, they do not take it as a personal judgement from other parties.
2. Great leaders expect and embrace challenges.
Challenges in life are inevitable and the best leaders prepare to face them head-on. Not only do they ready themselves for obstacles, but leaders welcome them as learning opportunities. Overcoming challenges helps them grow both professionally and personally. Challenges are opportunities to learn something new. Nurture an openness to approach new situations, no matter how foreign they may seem.
3. Great leaders focus more on the vision than in the act of doing.
In entrepreneurship, it takes clarity to develop a working vision and mission. After intense plans and goal-setting, an idea manifests through definitive action. The action is the execution of necessary planning. Inspiration is set through a precise and refined vision and mission. Leaders are needed to inspire and engage others in an idea. Entrepreneurs are the visionaries. Leaders must inspire their employees to buy into the plans before the concept becomes concrete.
4. Great leaders utilize both logic and emotion.
Inspiration is seeded through emotions, while operations requires logic-based thinking. Leaders learn to balance the two in order to create a successful dynamic for themselves and their work. Both logic and emotion have their place in leadership, but the key is knowing when to use which. Mastery comes through practice and intent.
5. Great leaders inspire rather than motivate.
Inspiration is paramount because it activates employees to improve their performance. Motivation leads employees to think they have to perform. Motivation causes an internal pressure, rather than a desire. Employees require stimulation to understand with what message they are connecting. This stimulation comes from inspiring thoughts and a sincere connection to the task and material. Excellent leaders master the methods of inspiration to fuel the fire of their company.
6. Great leaders don’t make fear-based decisions.
Leaders are level-headed people who root their decisions in thorough understanding and authenticity. An entrepreneur believes their message and rightfully aligns their personal values with that of their business mission. They must practice what they preach. Failure is encouraged not as a loss, but as an opportunity towards growth. Fear often stems from a place of uncertainty and misunderstanding. Leaders are exact with their choices and consider all options before proceeding with their chosen path.
7. Great leaders align values with the company’s vision.
Successful entrepreneurs align their values with the business. Setting a standard can be reflected through the leadership’s behaviors. Hire people that are a reflection of the values your company holds. Exude excitement for the foundational ideas to curate a culture dedicated to the mission. If leaders believe in their message and remain authentic, employees and customers will too.
Entrepreneurs are individuals that pave their own path and make decisions they feel are best. When business expands, and entrepreneurs must hire and take on a boss role, transition can complicate previous patterns. Building entrepreneurial leadership skills is a life’s work and can only be taken one step at a time. Develop a precise vision and learn how to engage the team for the most successful leadership future.