Much has been debated and discussed about leadership and in view of the fact that it is common knowledge that economies rest on the shoulders of Entrepreneurs, it stands to reason that at some point, as business owners, Entrepreneurs will have to lead in order to get the task completed. So here is my take on some of the things that need to be in place in order for that leadership to be great.
1. Admit that you are a Leader
This is especially true as a start-up or SMME or an Entrepreneur. The reality is that it is your brainchild, your baby and you know how you want things to happen, so you need to (wo)man up and take the lead.
Have discussions and brainstorm by all means, but at the end of the day you are the one that is accountable and responsible so you are ultimately the one who should be making the final decision.
2. Clarity is Key
Before you can guide or direct or lead anyone anywhere, you have to be clear on what it is that you want to achieve. One of my favorite mantras is “If cash is King, then clarity must be Queen!” If you don’t know where you want to go, how on earth are you going to get there? So defining your vision and intentions is of the utmost importance.
Questions such as ‘who is the target market’ and ‘what is the value to the clients’ need to be asked and answered by yourself before you get going.
Questions such as ‘how are we going to get there’ and ‘what is the process’ can be brainstormed later, although it would be a good idea to have some thoughts around this too.
Clear communications between Leaders and subordinates is extremely important. If you cannot communicate your intentions or explain the reason behind the action, your employees are going to be floundering. Again . . . clarity is of vital importance.
You have to help people interpret what you are saying correctly so that they understand what it is that you want them to do. Failure to get clarity here will result in skewered perceptions and unmet expectations! Not a good place to be at all!
4. Be Direct
Don’t pussyfoot about! Say what you mean and mean what you say. Listen carefully to what is being said around you and to you and then be direct about what you see and hear or your understanding of what is being said. If you’re not sure, ask the question. My take on this is that the ‘only stupid question that there is, is the one that you do not ask.” Don’t be afraid to ask the question if you are not 100% clear on what is being said.
I always say that the 4 most dangerous words in the dictionary are:- perception, expectation, assumption, and interpretation because they seldom meet reality. So make sure that everyone understands what is needed. One way to do this is to get them to explain back to you, what it is that they think you meant.
Don’t forget though that you need to be quiet in order to listen and you need to listen carefully if you are to understand the communication and it’s only in the understanding that an informed decision can be made.
Next time we will have a look at some of the other tips around Leadership.