We talk so much about the building, networking and hard work in general that goes into a successful startup. But what about you? Yes you! The leader of the pack, the CEO. How do you know you are doing your job right as the boss?
No matter if you have 4 employees or 4,000; leadership is key to a successful business.
Inc.com recently compiled a small list of ways to show the leadership that may not be shining through the way you think.
We know that leaders need to be seen by followers–from formal presentations and announcements, to a crisis, to simple “managing by walking around.” The less-obvious occasions, however, are easily overlooked. They can be lost opportunities, or powerful expressions of leadership.
As a leader, when do you feel out of your comfort zone? Maybe it’s when you have to deliver bad or unpopular news, or mediate a conflict between direct reports, or perform a necessary task that you just don’t like. One CEO client told me that he found it hard to celebrate the “small to medium wins” that his team wanted acknowledged. He considered these victories just part of doing business. His solution was to ask his executives to publicize accomplishments up to a certain level, allowing him to save his praise for the really big achievements.
Ask yourself, “How am I visible to others when I don’t want to be?” The answer is not to pretend to like being visible–far from it. Instead, ask yourself this question prior to an uncomfortable event, and use it to help you prepare. Consider some behavioral options, and put yourself in a different mental space. Then you’ll be able to be visible in a more productive, less stressful manner.
Many leaders are great at preparing the logistics of leadership (the facts and figures in a plan, or the pitch for a presentation). Too many leaders, however, don’t prepare regularly for the deeper daily requirements of leadership. This is a shame, because most leaders face complex challenges, relentless claims on their time, and increasing pressures to deliver on goals over which they don’t have direct control. A bit of regular preparation goes a long way.
Just as athletic activities involve physical, mental, and emotional energies, leadership is a “whole-body practice” and requires preparation of the whole person. The next time you are running through your checklist prior to a leadership event, ask yourself, “How have I prepared my whole self for this?”
Read the rest of this article at IncCategory: Business, Featured | Tags: Business, CEO, founders, Inc., leadership, Startups