So you’ve made that headfirst jump off a cliff and launched your own business. Things have been going well so far—so well that you find yourself in a position to hire a few people to join you. Until now, your focus has been on becoming your own boss. Now it’s time for you to be the boss. Are you ready?
Here are some crucial reminders if you’re an entrepreneur stepping into the uncharted territory of leadership.
- Commit to leadership, not micromanagement
Think of some of the greatest leaders you know. What do they all have in common? Define what leadership means to you and then follow in their footsteps. Remember, to manage is to contain—to lead is to inspire and empower. Give your new hires the creative freedom they need, and provide plenty of resources for them to succeed.
- Share your vision
As an entrepreneur, you have made it this far with your personal determination and vision for success. Now, it’s time to share that vision with a team. Delegation can be difficult, but it’s essential if you want to succeed. As a leader, your new job is to share your work, and do it well. Clearly communicate what is expected and the objectives/purpose of each assignment. Consider utilizing a project management system to keep goals on track.
- Keep the communication flowing
Encourage open communication and create an environment where voicing concern and potential change is expected. For entrepreneurs, it’s easy to keep things in and make business issues a personal problem. You are no longer flying solo, and it’s detrimental to continue operating as if you are. Consistently send out updates to allow each member to feel directly responsible for the success of the business.
- Find your support system
There are plenty of resources out there for new leaders. Take advantage of them! SBA.GOV offers a “Learning Center” for small business owners to learn and interact. Or if you need hands on help, consider a mentor so you can learn to lead through example. When questions arise, you can have someone to talk to and consult with.
- Build the team bond
If you want your clients to be happy, don’t forget to boost the morale of your employees. As a leader, you are responsible for the connectedness of your team. Schedule regular team bonding activities to show your commitment. Break the barrier early on to encourage open communication and strong relationships.
- Face problems head on
A team caught up in negativity can be like a cancer to your business. Catch problems early, and face them head on. Provide a system for team members to openly voice their concerns to you, and practice direct action rather than avoidance. If something makes you uncomfortable, do not procrastinate—fix it. Communicate. Make things happen.
Now that you’re the boss, what are you doing differently in your business to lead it toward success?
About the author:
Tobi North – Creativity rock star and marketing master
I enjoy being innovative and creating communications that customers can relate to. I am always looking for that “light bulb” moment, when I find an interesting topic that I know our customers will love to learn more about. In between creative brainstorming sessions, you can probably find me at a concert or searching for the best BBQ joint in town. .
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