Let us imagine you decided to quit your nine-to-five job a few years ago, took a chance on an idea you had, and now find yourself as a successful entrepreneur. Having brought your company from the ground up and wanting to protect it, you contact a well-respected estate planning lawyer and start thinking about your legacy and what you will leave behind to your family, business partners, and friends.
It sounds pretty nice, doesn’t it? It’s like the American dream that many of us have, but most fail to accomplish.
But why is that? Why do more than half of the new businesses go bankrupt within the first two years of inception, and the vast majority don’t make it past five? Is it because of bad management, incompetent CEOs, or less-than-ideal economic conditions?
The truth is, in most cases, it is a combination of factors that slowly lead your enterprise towards the abyss. Still, one way or another, they all have to do with the person at the top and the type of leader he is. Needless to say, that person is you.
For some, leadership is a quality, something you are born with. But while this may be somewhat true, like all other things in life, results only come through action, and talent and skill will only get you so far.
With that in mind, let us explore a few of the most important things business leaders should engage in for the betterment of the organizations they manage.
Show and Tell
The best way to make sure something is done the way it is supposed to be done is by doing it yourself. Yet, the corporate world we live in is not an ideal environment, and company managers have neither the time nor the resources to take care of everything that is happening in a business. As such, they must know how to do two things. The first one is teaching others how to accomplish tasks on time. The second is delegating.
Great leaders know how to bring people together towards a common goal. In addition, they are willing to place their trust in the right individuals to guide the enterprise forward.
A Slice of Humble Pie
Coming out of college, basketball legend Michael Jordan won four straight scoring titles. Furthermore, he led the league in almost every single offensive category and several defensive ones as well. But it wasn’t until he learned to follow the innovative, team-game ideas of coaches Phil Jackson and Tex Winter that he became a champion.
A leader leads. Nobody will argue otherwise. But he also knows when to follow others. He is open and flexible enough to understand that people in lower positions may sometimes have better ideas. If the organization is to succeed, it is imperative to listen to them.
Rain or Shine
The first hero a child will ever have is his father. From the moment a kid is conscious about who he is and the family environment surrounding him, he will look up to his dad and emulate his every move. Therein lies the most significant challenge a parent can ever have. And that is to be a good example for their offspring.
As a company leader, you will also get tired and demotivated. You will also struggle. But you have to power through it. You have to dig deep within yourself, be resilient, and drive those who depend on you along the way. Regardless of what is going on around you, the key is to be consistent.
Better to Contribute
We all face problems in life because of our family, our work, our relationships, or pretty much anything else. When that happens, we can do two things. The first one is to at least try to think of solutions to what is troubling us. The second is to complain.
It doesn’t take a genius to know that successful entrepreneurs don’t do the latter. While they might vent now and then as the rest of us, they don’t dwell on what they cannot control. If they know how to fix something, they do it. And if they don’t, they think about it until they do or find somebody who does. But they don’t stay still and wallow in their own misfortune.
The Bottom Line
Great leaders know how to train their staff and delegate tasks. They also understand when to be quiet and listen to others, and they are self-motivated. Finally, they embrace the challenges that lay ahead instead of whining about them.
We all have what it takes to lead our organizations to prosperity. Frequently, it is only a matter of making that choice every single day.