We tend to see startup entrepreneurs as visionary leaders, coming up with the ideas, directing the team and ultimately taking responsibility for the success or failure of a company. And, yet, there are countless examples of companies with good ideas that have failed because of poor leadership, and companies that have thrived despite merely decent ideas. At least, that’s the general perception.
Therefore, a startup’s success is not solely based on the idea; it is the combination of hard work, passion, and good team dynamic. In last week’s blog post, we explored how to build the best team for a startup in pre- and post-hiring periods. Now, it is time for the entrepreneur to lead that team.
Having the responsibilities of a leader can seem very frightening. The startup ship you’re navigating can either find promising land or drown in the ocean along with your crew. So before taking the mantle, make sure you fully understand the leader’s roles in the company and the right approach to have when guiding your team.
There are undoubtedly a lot of responsibilities appointed to the leader but the below are the primary influential roles to keep in mind as an entrepreneur:
Idea generator: It is the leader’s job to come up with new directions and new possibilities for the organization (and solve tough problems).
Decision-maker: When the time comes for a hard decision to be made for the company, the leader is the one who has to make it.
Team-builder: The leader hires, fires, and inspires people to work their hardest under his or her banner.
Image-maker: The leader is also the figurehead of the company and the “face” of the brand.
Everyone Is an Entrepreneur
Every individual has a deep-seated desire to become an entrepreneur. As an entrepreneur yourself, you know how to grow that seed since you are the idea-generator. For that reason, it is beneficial for both your startup’s and your team members’ growth to instill a shared entrepreneurial spirit. Let your team members invest in your company and keep the business’ best interest in mind.
Companies that nurture this spirit will have a better chance at succeeding because they are developing a fully invested team that is committed to propelling the business forward.
Communication Is Key
Many startups face a roadblock when it comes to team communication. Team members find it difficult to provide their feedback on something due to the entrepreneur’s unwillingness to listen. Ultimately, the team will no longer pay attention to their leader’s directions.
If you want to be an effective communicator, then you have to learn how to listen and ask first. I have mentioned before that the decision-making is the leader’s role in the company. However, you have gathered a team that you trust to be highly efficient and hardworking; so listen to their suggestions and ask about their thoughts before making a final decision because they might provide a better alternative to the decision you made on your own.
Room for Creativity
Once you have established a strong communicative culture in your company, your team members will automatically start producing new out-of-the-box ideas. Make sure you vocalize how appreciated and accepted new ideas are and show them the trust you have in them by not shadowing their every move.
This type of environment encourages the team to work together, find new methods in solving problems, and generate outstanding ideas.
As the image-maker of the startup, the entrepreneur decides the company’s brand. From that point on, you choose which direction you take as you promote your startup. A great leader does not focus on generating a lot of money, but ensures that his/her company’s main goal is to provide value with each product or service.
Providing value to your customers and your audience will take your company much further than trying to get them to check out your company through promotion. Most people don’t want to be bombarded with promos. Instead, they want something that is insightful or changes their perspective.