By Abigirl Phiri
STARTING a business definitely means you are a leader of some sort whether good or bad since there are no two ways about it. Consequently, all the responsibilities will fall upon your shoulders. Indeed, leadership skills need to be nurtured and honed so that you will equipped to face whatever is thrown onto your plate.
Thus, one should have at least inherent traits of leadership. In addition, every entrepreneur should strive to be an exemplary leader who has effective communication skills for the team to follow through his or her vision religiously to boot. Some say leaders are born and not made and vice versa which truly depends on how you view it. Nevertheless as a leader myself, my take is one must strike a balance on the mentioned notions.
An entrepreneurial leader must have these inherent traits that drive him or her to go on even in the face of adversity. At the same, one must perfect his or her leadership skills.
Truth be told, you will be able to win not only your customers but your subordinates loyalty through good leadership skills. This is because an entrepreneurial venture eventually will have a team that you will be leading on a daily basis to soldier on collectively with your vision not in the back of their minds. Only this way can others be able to share your big dream to its fulfilment because they will be seeing the present challenges in a different light.
For that reason, it is good to sharpen your leadership skills constantly. Needless to mention, practice makes perfect plus experience is the best teacher. Worth noting, good leaders even make up effective mentors to the young generation. For entrepreneurship, we need more of that not only in Zimbabwe but her sister countries as well. Notably the big question is which leadership style to adopt since they are a plethora to exercise.
From my experience, transformational is the best style as even concurred by researchers since it is characterized by humility, accountability, emotional intelligence, effective communication, strategic goal setting, sharing a specific culture, motivation, creativity, innovation and being empathetic inter alia. This is because it suits every situation present on how you will handle it than following through only one sided way of doing things either being autocratic, pacesetting, transactional, laissez faire or democratic.
To this extent, you must weigh the benefit of the each type of leadership skill set that you are employing. Equally like a cost benefit analysis, if its drawbacks are more to its payback better drop that leadership style before it ruins your entrepreneurial venture to the ground. By the same token, this is no news that most entrepreneurial ventures do not go beyond five years of operation because the entrepreneurs would have thrown in the towel.
In most cases, entrepreneurs will be complaining that this whole process needs a tidy sum yet it’s the ability to be a good leader who is driven by characteristics of persistence up until the masses applaud your contribution in solving humanity’s problems that matter. Frankly speaking, never become a toxic entrepreneurial leader because that bad reputation will follow you even up into your grave.
Others win new deals and business through good leadership skills. Accordingly, like a moth to a flame they will be able to formulate strong business connections and links which will help the entrepreneurial venture in the long run. As a good leader you will be able to inspire confidence in others.
Recently, one article l had the privilege of perusing through highlighted that people get attached to brands, entrepreneurial ventures or corporates due to the image the leaders portray to the general masses.
Once that perception is embroiled in nasty entanglements then the customer base is quick to drop you off like a hat and look for a substitute. All in all, this must be committed to memory because as an entrepreneurial leader all eyes are on you. On all intents and purposes you must do the right thing that doesn’t tarnish your image especially as a startup you need all the support you can get at the grass root level.
Apart from being a good communicator you must extend the same courtesy and become a good listener as well. Good contributions can even emerge from your entrepreneurial team to solidify your venture to greater heights. Respect and leadership are intertwined if you do the latter properly then you are guaranteed to earn respect in your business circles.
What more would you want than this? Undoubtedly, after everything has been said and done, it will increase traffic which corresponds to more sales volume. As a result, leadership skills should not be taken for granted in this 21st century where there is a lot of stiff competition because entrepreneurs are imitating each other every day in a bid to enhance the product or service proffered.
Put yourself in the shoes of either your customers or entrepreneurial team for you to be able to effect good and sound decisions that have the venture’s best interest at heart. All things being equal, at the end of the day as an entrepreneurial leader you must have the final say on what decision to take or to change. Provided you exercise your power right and play your cards correctly as a true and good leader you will just have to stand and watch as the benefits trickle your way.
That said treasured readers, is the power of being a good leader who treats everyone equally yet taking into account opportunities should not be missed instead they need to be capitalized on like how the lion bids its time before pouncing on a prey.
Following this same line of thinking, the lion might not be the largest animal in the jungle but there is a reason behind it being referred to as the king of the jungle. Interestingly and similarly, this is what every entrepreneurial leader should be known as whilst commanding well earned respect.