When you are a start-up entrepreneur, there’s one thing that you most certainly get in plenty – advice. What to do, what not to, whom to hire, how to do start-up marketing right, so on and so forth. Often, sorting through the advice and filtering one that really matters is a struggle. That’s why, we spoke to a large number of start-up entrepreneurs in our client base to bring you leadership advice that really delivers the punch. Here are five top leadership tips for every start-up entrepreneur:
#1 Build a solid foundation of trust: Trust is the single most important building block of a great company culture and when you are a start-up, trust is also one of the most important things your employees seek of you. They are going to put in more nights at the office, work through the weekends, and sacrifice personal life only if they trust you to deliver on the promises made. Be it the smallest of things – like taking the team out for lunch, sharing half-yearly growth numbers, or anything else, if you make a promise, exhibit good leadership by executing it. Be a doer, not just a speaker.
#2 Be willing to do anything and everything: This holds especially true for start-ups that are in their initial stages. Good leadership lies in inspiring your people to do whatever it takes in the conquest to reach the finish line i.e. the business goals. Karl Marx, the father of Communism, once famously said “I am nothing, but I must be everything” and this ideology beautifully sums up the role start-up leaders must assume in order to reach the pinnacle of success. However, if you feel that doing everything at once is taking a toll on your team’s productivity; think of leveraging corporate administrative assistance services to delegate some of the mundane work.
#3 Adopt a team mind-set: Start-ups need to be nimble as market changes affect them more as compared to established players. That’s why they need a robust team of people that can assemble quickly to tide over problems/roll out new initiatives as opposed to star individual talent. Entrepreneurs must cultivate a team-oriented culture by creating opportunities for constructive collaboration, establishing and incentivising team goals, and constantly reinforcing a common vision – reminding everyone that they are a part of a bigger ecosystem than just themselves.
#4 Remember that ‘too many cooks spoil the broth’: Excess of everything is bad, even if it comes in the form of great ideas. This is a common mistake most start-up leaders make though – in an effort to increase employee engagement and collaboration, they encourage everyone to share great ideas and in true start-up style, even go on to execute most of them. Unsurprisingly, what results is total chaos – too many ideas flying around, new rules every now and then, and distraction from core work for employees.
#5 Treat others the way you want to be treated: It’s easy to get frustrated, anxious, and demotivated when you are running a new business as things don’t always move at your desired pace. Often, the frustration shows in the way you treat your employees, leading to a cascade of unwanted effects and a vicious cycle of negativity that threatens to pull your company down. At times like these, tap into your emotional intelligence and remember the golden rule – everyone, irrespective of their hierarchy in the organization, wants to be treated with respect, dignity, and given credit where it is due.