One of the biggest advantages of being an entrepreneur comes by way of the fact that you’re now fully in charge of your own destiny. You have a vision, you have a plan for bringing it into reality and you’ve surrounded yourself with people who are going to help you every step of the way.
Unfortunately, this mentality can also be your undoing if you aren’t incredibly careful.
The fact of the matter is that leadership is ultimately about more than just “being in charge.” It’s about being the type of person that other people want to follow. People aren’t going to listen to what you have to say out of the kindness of their hearts. They need to believe in that vision every bit as much as you do.
The only way you’re going to get to that point is if you start acting like the leader you always dreamed of one day becoming.
Success is Less About Speaking And More About Listening
As stated, one of the major mistakes that young entrepreneurs in particular often make involves assuming that ‘leadership‘ equates to little more than “barking orders.” In truth, delegating responsibility shouldn’t be high on the list of your daily job duties at all. Instead, you should be willing to listen to those around you.
If one of your employees comes to you with an issue, really take the time to listen to it and get to the bottom of the root cause or pain. If someone has a suggestion, let them try to convince you about why it’s such a good idea – don’t immediately write them off because it doesn’t fall in line with what your own expectations were.
For the best results, you should be willing to listen to the people around you at least 80% of the time. Clarify your vision 10% of the time, and use the remaining 10% to respond in the ways people need you to. If you’re able to do that and strike that critical balance, you’ll finally be the leader they need you to be.
You’re A Part Of A Team Now – Act Like It
Equally important is your ability to acknowledge that running a business is no longer a journey you’re taking alone. You’re a part of a team now, and the importance of leaning into that is something that cannot be stated enough.
Far too often, leaders tend to learn by themselves. They make a mistake and pick up a valuable lesson from it, but that lesson becomes siloed inside their own brain. Instead, you need to learn with your team in real-time, allowing them to share in your experience even if they’re not sharing in your job title.
If something goes wrong, talk about why. If you overcome a challenge, let people bask in that with you. Everything you do is less about the result of your effort and is more about the product of the larger whole – you need to let people become a part of that experience if they’re going to rise up to become what you need them to be.
You Need To Understand As Much As Possible
Finally, if you really want to become the leader you were always meant to be, you need to make an active effort to truly understand your audience as much as possible.
Don’t assume that you know everything, because any entrepreneur will tell you that you’re going to be wrong more often than you’ll be right. Instead, make it a priority to get to know the people you’ve dedicated yourself to serving and show your employees why that’s important, too.
Provided that you follow these simple tips, you’ll be well on your way to being more than just ‘the person in charge’. You’ll be a genuine leader in every sense of the term.