Entrepreneurs are usually seen as visionary leaders who come up with great ideas. Then develop a business to accomplish those ideas. They direct a team, bring their expertise to the table, and take responsibility for the company’s success or failure. There are many examples of companies that started off with great ideas but failed due to poor leadership. As well, there are those that have become highly successful despite merely good ideas. Conversely, some ventures survive as long-term small businesses, providing a small income for the ownership team but nothing more.
Leadership matters most in the early stages of a startup because you’re working with a softer, less developed idea with a lot of unknowns and a small team. The idea, market, workforce, and culture of your company are still volatile and it’s your job as a leader to ensure they are aligned. Once these concepts are established, your leadership skills become less influential in the company’s development, and other external factors already set in place before your time may affect your decisions.
In a startup organization, the leader plays the role of an idea generator, team builder, decision-maker, and image-maker. At a large company, the leader knows their exact responsibilities and who they are supposed to manage. Responsibilities are widely spread and decisions can be made by a group instead of one individual.
At a startup, however, the leadership role is more subtle as employees are more friends. Additionally, everyone often wears many hats. There is usually no clear definition of roles. It’s also not easy to manage a team and ensure everything works as planned. So, how can you approach these challenges and ultimately become an effective leader for your startup?
Here are 4 ways you can improve your leadership skills online:
To be a great leader, it is important that you continue learning. By subscribing to blogs revolving around leadership, such as John Maxwell you will get a regular stream of helpful articles to aid you in becoming the best leader you can.
By being a devoted reader of online leadership blogs you can sharpen your mindset and skills, and understand concepts that can help you lead better.
By subscribing to a leadership podcast, it’s like you have a team of mentors available to you all day long. Podcasts also won’t take any time out of your day as you can listen to them while doing other things, such as your morning commute, or while out for a run after work.
There are a tremendous number of leadership-focused podcasts available. Michael Hyatt is a good starting place.
Technology is a wonderful thing, you no longer need to travel to attend mastermind sessions, in fact, many of your favorite mentors host online masterminds once or twice a year. This means that you get access to your mentor and their wisdom, without having to travel and be away from the office. Investing in joining a mastermind group is worth the money, giving you direct access to others that are currently going through or have been through the same growing pains.
Many leaders find they are ‘too busy’ to join online groups or read email newsletters coming in. If this is you, it is time to hire a digital leadership coach. Hiring a professional that can offer you insight personalized to you and your business may be exactly what you need. Weekly conference calls mean that you can run your business and grow alongside it.
Leadership is critical during the early stages of a company’s development. A leader has the power to make or break a company based on his/her decisions and actions. Great leadership requires constant growth with your business, by investing in your leadership you will be better prepared to take your company to the next level.
Looking for help? Tired and believing there has got to be a better way?
Let’s talk about life, leadership, and business coaching. With over a decade of experience leading companies and transforming lives, and a Master’s degree in Org Development and Leadership, Mike can help you find the best way forward!