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5 Traits of a Great Startup Leader You Can Adopt Today

business growth leadership strategy Nov 07, 2023
5 Traits of a Great Startup Leader You Can Adopt Today

Leadership is so important as a Startup Founder. Not only must you get really good at leading yourself (which is more difficult than it sounds), as you business grows you also need to become skilled at leading a team.

Many founders resist building a team, and for good reason. It could feel scary to think about managing and investing time to grow a team when you already feel stretched so thin.  The reality is, however, that your business can't make it to the next level until you start on boarding others to help. Which means investing time in sharpening your leadership skills is key to maximizing ROI of your team--  freeing you up to focus on big-picture strategy and needle moving tasks.

5 Best practices for first time leaders

  1. Adopt a Growth Mindset: Leaders are made, not born.  Find peace in the fact that no one is perfect and being a great leader is recognizing your imperfections and actively learning strategist to improve on your weaknesses.  It is an ongoing process and one that you should apply to all areas of your life.

  2. Invest your time in Building Rapport and Trust with your team: At the beginning of any meeting, consciously allocate some time to getting to know your teammates as human being. Be interested in them and their lives.  Discover what motivates them.  What lights them up. This small act of kindness with not only build rapport, but also make your team member happier to work with you.  Remember, people want to feel appreciated and acknowledged.

  3. Clarify goals, Roles, and Expectation: Nothing is worse than having someone on your payroll who isn't sure what they should be doing or how they contribute to the overall business goals.  Make it a point to be clear on roles and responsibilities. Set expectation for performance by issuing KPIs. Clearly communicate your company's BIG vision and get aligned on the quarterly goals for the department and by individual.

  4. Hold regular meetings: Have a clear meeting cadence and be careful not to stray from your routine. Be conscious of how you show up with your team.  Don't cancel meetings and have inconsistent meeting agendas.  This is seen as disrespectful and causes stress.  People love clarity and certainty. Establish a rhythm and build a culture from day one.  I suggest having a company meeting 1x per week (or meeting by department) and then regular 1:1 with each team member. Depending on the size of your startup and how involved each teammate is, those 1:1 would bee weekly, bi-weekly, or even monthly.

  5. Practice asking good questions and listening:  Remember, no one likes being ordered around.  Treat your team and just that, a team.  Tap into their knowledge, creativity and experience. Try to listen more than you speak.  This will help other feel seen/heard and help them to become more established and committed into your company.

We often think that we go faster if we go alone. This couldn't be further from the truth.  If you listen to the advice of any highly successful person, they will tell you that the only way to go far is to go together. Start building a team before you're ready.  Even if that means getting an assistant or someone to simply take a few things off your hands.  Practice delegating and leading. Practice giving clear instructions and setting expectations.  Maybe you'll be terrible at first or feel uncomfortable, but the act of getting started and refining you skillset as a leader will set you up for success in the future.

Take a listen! 👇🏻 


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