02 Jul Leadership: Making of an awesome company
Success and failure are measured by a single important word, “Leadership”. Legions of startups end up in the graveyard and are quickly forgotten while stories of successful startups become folklore. Both are the direct result of leadership. Period.
Every entrepreneur starts off with a brilliant concept or idea (or that is the belief). Many fail to occur at the concept stage. A few get stranded post concept and some take flight but get grounded soon after. But a few grow beyond anyone’s wildest imagination and the reason for this is again the common denominator, of leadership. Both for successful and failed companies.
So, a good leader is not only a superb idea generator but one who can execute on the idea or build an inspired team to bring their vision to light. A good leader is an inspiring visionary, a calculated risk taker, a good soldier, super listener, a team builder and a doer. It’s an exhaustive list. Importantly, a good leader does not build followers but more leaders. An effective leader knows how to delegate and empower the team who even in their absence will execute at the highest level. This is how companies go from good to great.
“Leadership is not about a title or a designation. It’s about impact, influence and inspiration. Impact involves getting results, influence is about spreading the passion you have for your work and you have to inspire team-mates and customers.” Robin S. Sharma
In the evolution of a startup, having a good and able leader brings a higher value for the company and is a game changer. The opposite also stands true. A bad leader can make a great idea fail miserably and devalue a company.
There are several valuable tools available for business leaders today to assess their company and their competency. A few worth mentioning are: PEST Analysis is a simple and widely used tool that helps you analyze the Political, Economic, Socio-Cultural, and Technological changes of your business environment. A visionary leader must know where there are opportunities and threats and hence guide the organization accordingly. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PEST_analysis
SWOT Analysis is also widely used by successful companies and must be adopted by startups. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SWOT_analysis
Professor Michael Porter of Harvard Business School created a tool called Porter’s Five Forces to analyze an industry’s attractiveness and likely profitability. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Porter%27s_five_forces_analysis
Leadership is not specific to the business world alone but is applicable in all walks of life. In interpersonal relationships as well as on the battlefield. Alexander the Great was a brilliant tactician and military leader who built one of the largest empire in ancient times.
“In this age, I don’t care how tactically or operationally brilliant you are: if you cannot create harmony – even vicious harmony – on the battlefield based on trust across service lines, across coalition and national lines, and across civilian/military lines, you need to go home, because your leadership is obsolete”. James Mattis
In the startup ecosystem, entrepreneurs must look up to and aspire to be some of the great leaders of our time. Leaders such as #Lee Iacocca, the legendary executive who revived Chrysler Motors, #Steve Jobs, #Sheryl Sandberg and #Bill Gates to name a few. They did not just build great sustainable world-class companies, but understanding their vision greatly inspired their team with inspirational story-telling that made their teams not only believe in their vision but adopted it as their own.
In our upcoming boot camp event hosted by #SurviveandThriveToday in Malibu, CA, http://surviveandthrivetoday.com entrepreneurs will be subjected to many indoor and outdoor activities. The mastermind section will assess and teach about strategy, leadership, team building, etc. because we believe that mission-driven entrepreneurs never ceases to learn to get better. The agenda at #Surviveandthrivetoday is curated to identify companies that not only have a compelling business plan on theory but have #entrepreneurs react to real life business situations effectively, take calculated risks when action is required, demonstrate team building skills and execute with a clear vision. We invite you to join us and be part of the community of investors, mentors and startups.
“It is better to lead from behind and to put others in front, especially when you celebrate victory when nice things occur. You take the front line when there is danger. Then people will appreciate your leadership”. Nelson Mandela
Swatick Majumdar, the author is also the Co-Founder of Survive and Thrive Today. A 3-day boot camp community for mission driven entrepreneurs.