What are some actionable ways to start your business and build a team?
Leadership skills can be learned
You must have the mindset and be intentional about improving your leadership skill. Even the most accomplished leaders have areas they can improve upon. Do not miss opportunities to improve upon your leadership skills! Learn from yours and others’ mistakes, and from talented leaders in every industry.
Leadership is unique because the circumstances are so diverse, yet the principals can be applied across any industry or situation.
Our goal is to take you to the next level, and provide you with the skills that will help you meet your goals.
Find a mentor
Today’s society severely underestimates the importance of mentors. Find someone who has done it before, message them on social media. Find someone in your community.
Sometimes entrepreneurs and business leaders remember what it was like in the early days of fighting your way through the unknown of starting a business or shooting for an organizational position with more responsibility.
Some leaders might even appreciate the opportunity to help someone that might remind them of themselves earlier in their career.
When reaching out to someone you don’t know, leave your requests out of the email. Only focus on how you might be able to bring them value by using your skill set, helping out in any way you can, being willing to work for free…etc. Picture yourself in their shoes. Would you want to mentor someone who just says, “Fix my problems”, or someone who wants to learn from you by helping in any way they can?
You need to know when to step out of the way and find individuals that are talented and driven that can excel in areas that you are weak in.
If your goal is to scale your business, you want to keep yourself from becoming a bottleneck and source of slow downs when it comes to making decisions. Not every single decision should have to go through you.
I’ve seen businesses suffer because of the lack of leadership in one specific area, such as having vision. We had a great team on a massive project, but the leader we had did not spend enough focused time on strategizing on the direction the team should be headed.
The team was efficient, but we spent a lot of time heading in the wrong direction. This could have been prevented by the leader taking a step back and focusing on the strategy from a high-level view.
Build a team of people better than you
You need to find people that are better than you. It is the team members that you recruit that will decide the outcome of your business or organization. You must carefully recruit effective people that inspire you.
Employees should truly care about the mission of what you’re trying to accomplish. It’s also your job as the leader to effectively share that vision and mission.
Be willing to mentor and train people
Become a mentor yourself! If you find someone who is really hungry to learn, the results can be outstanding. An employee that is driven can be 100% more productive than someone who doesn’t care despite being more experienced.
Reward team members appropriately
Pay attention to your team and reward them for doing excellent work. Too often it seems like the high performers that are silently getting things done that are overlooked. Sadly, the boisterous individuals patting themselves on the back get far too much recognition and even promotion despite them taking credit for other more quiet individuals’ accomplishments.
Remember that everyone has their own work style, some of the more quiet individuals may not want a full-blown episode of recognition in front of their peers.
Your decisions and reactions have effects you may not see
Don’t punish employees for taking calculated risks and pushing the envelope. Be careful about how you respond to questions and requests.
Consider the scenario of an employee asking for a raise to keep them or they are going to go with another job offer. If you give that person a raise, it sends a message to all your employees that this is what it takes to get a raise. Ben Horowitz, in his book The Hard Thing About Hard Things, describes this as the squeaky wheel getting all the grease. All of a sudden you will find yourself having many squeaky wheels.
Notice and recognize the employees that are working hard, conduct annual reviews, and place your people first. This will help you retain talent and hopefully prevent squeaky wheels in the first place!
Develop your sense of vision
Step back and see how your business or organization is functioning from a clear overhead view. This may mean that you need to carve time out of your day to just consider the operation as a whole or go to different areas of the organization to get a sense of what is really going on.
It is easy to get locked into a sense of direction when your head is down. It’s not until you take that high level look that you realize you might be headed the wrong direction.
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