Rarely can entrepreneurs make a company succeed by themselves. This is much like the fact that the greatest athlete doesn’t ensure that their team will win if the other players cannot perform. As such, entrepreneurs need to be able to identify staffing needs, expertly fill them, and lead the team to success.
Leadership is the process through which an entrepreneur is able to influence employees to achieve the objectives of the organization. To be an effective leader, an entrepreneur must
- Build trust and confidence among employees
- Communicate effectively with them
Leaders can build trust in many ways. They can achieve it by working hard, maintaining a constant message and/or being available to solve employees’ problems among others. By showing employees that they are fully committed to achieving the vision, entrepreneurial leaders build trust and confidence in employees. This in turn yields high employee satisfaction and commitment.
Effective communication is equally critical to successful leadership. If employees are unclear about the company’s vision, and/or receive mixed messages over time, they will be unable to focus all of their efforts on achieving the company’s goals. Conversely, by delineating the company’s vision and goals, and reinforcing them over time with the same message, the company’s goals become engrained in its employees.
In addition to building trust and effective communications, other keys to entrepreneurial leadership include the following:
Seeking self-improvement: A great leader always seeks to become even better.
Possessing technical skills: While the leader may not need to have the greatest technical skills in their organizations, they need to be savvy enough to lead the team.
Accepting responsibility for actions: Leaders and companies always make mistakes. Great leaders don’t place blame on others.
Making decisions: Good leaders must make good and timely decisions.
Being a role model: A leader must set an example to employees and guide them to excel.
The ability to effectively lead is a crucial factor in the success, or lack thereof, in entrepreneurial ventures. By understanding and embodying what it takes to lead effectively, entrepreneurs can maximize their chances of success.
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