The word ‘entrepreneur’ commands immense respect in today’s world. With relatively unknown companies becoming the darling of investors and hedge funds, there is a discernible interest in understanding what leads one to success and immense prosperity. Many people have bargained secure and extremely well-paying jobs to follow their dream of being an entrepreneur. Some years back, this would have raised eyebrows, but now, there is a hidden reverence for people who choose to undertake this ambitious gamble known as entrepreneurship.
One of the tacit attributes of entrepreneurship is leadership. Let us look at some leadership qualities that would enable an entrepreneur to succeed in this extremely competitive environment.
- Having a vision: Every successful leader has a vision. This vision is what motivates the leader to take up the challenge of transforming the present situation into something remarkable. It also fuels the individual with courage and self-belief which is required to convince others to partner with them in the realization of their dream.
- Recognize opportunities: It is essential for successful entrepreneurs to be able to separate the wheat from the chaff. There will be a number of prospects which may grab their attention, but one needs to recognize and energize only those possibilities which would lead to a successful outcome.
- Developing Leaders: A realistic leader acknowledges the fact that it requires exceptional people to help one actualize their vision. They need to, thus, identify and recruit befitting aspirants who would partner them in their entrepreneurial journey. Also, as an organization grows, it is not always possible for the entrepreneur to look into every aspect or take every decision. This calls forth the need for one to groom potential leaders who would steer the organization in line with one’s vision.
- Creative: One of the definitions of being creative is being able to model befitting solutions to resolve any obstacle / difficulty faced, even with the limited resources in hand. As is well known, the entrepreneurial journey is not an easy one and is fraught with innumerable challenges. Creatively resolving / handling these challenges is the only course forward. Hence, creativity is an essential quality for any entrepreneurial leader striving to reach their goal.
- Good Communicator: Being able to articulate one’s vision very clearly is an asset for any entrepreneur. A vision that is lucid and clear helps one to focus the teams’ energies in the right direction, helps bring on suitable investors onboard and garner the essential support when required.
- Excellent Execution capabilities: No matter how strong the vision is, how clearly it is expressed or how capable the team seems, a successful product / service can be delivered, only when it is executed well. Successful execution is key to materializing the vision to perfection.
- Honesty and Accountability: Leaders who are honest in their dealings and hold themselves accountable to promises made can expect the same from their team members. They should have a clear view of their own role within the organization and should abstain from giving oneself any fancy title that carries no real responsibilities.
- Perseverance: Fulfilling one’s vision involves breaking it down into smaller goals and accomplishing these one by one. A successful leader requires copious amounts of perseverance, to realize these goals in the face of various unimagined hurdles.
Managing a team
An entrepreneur can successfully execute one’s vision, only with the help of their team. The team may comprise of different kinds of people; individuals with varying skills, styles of working, motivations and temperament. Nevertheless, these different personalities complement each other and aid in making the vision become a reality.
Enlisting the right candidate for the team is demanding but an even tougher task, for a leader, is to manage a team competently. Here are some basic aspects a leader should consider, while managing the team:
Sharing your vision: This is very important if the leader wants to align each individuals’ effort in line with the organization’s goals. It is very easy for team members to concentrate on individual goals. Hence, it is essential for the leader to re-visit the vision of the organization on a regular basis with the team, to ensure that everyone understands the role they are playing in the organization’s success.
Defining clear roles: This helps each member in understanding their role in the deliverable and aids in bringing about accountability. It also explicitly defines the decision making process and helps move the process forward in case of any confusion.
Leading by example: This is essential if the leader wants the team to be motivated and deliver on the agreed on results.
Sharing success: Every achievement is the result of many people’s efforts and this should be acknowledged by the leader. Sharing success is a sure way of instilling confidence and motivating a team.
Creating a sense of ownership: Sharing one’s vision also creates a sense of ownership among the team members inspiring one to give their best to accomplish the objective.
Guidance and Support: A leader should guide and support every employee. One should take the time to listen and understand what motivates each team member and if possible, guide one towards their interests.
Every successful leader may not possess all of these qualities in equal measure; nor, possessing these qualities ensure one will be successful. But each one of these traits and attributes are learnable, if one puts the effort to do so.