If you Google the word “leadership”, you’ll get 866,000,000 results. I can’t add anything new to a discussion on leadership; I just know it's the linchpin skill every early-stage entrepreneur must master if they are to scale their business to the next level.
As an entrepreneur leading your own destiny, your leadership skill and abilities will determine the speed and trajectory of your success in scaling your business to the next level.
I define leadership as “your presence”–the very quality of your presence in your own life, in your relationships, in your business, in your marketplace, and in your community. The quality of your presence in every aspect of life is a reflection of the quality of your leadership skills and abilities.
As a life-long business owner, I have always been interested in learning more about how to grow and improve my skills in this area. After three decades working with hundreds of business leaders, I’ve seen how the quality of their presence affects the success of their business transformation initiatives.
When I began the research phase for writing my forthcoming book “The Scalability Factor”, the topic of “leadership” and its effect on scaling an early-stage business was where the process started for me.
I’m not interested so much in the personality of a leader. I wanted to research what leadership “skills” are common to those entrepreneurs who break through the complexities of scaling an early stage business to a higher level.
The quality of your presence begins within you, deeply anchored in your sub-conscious beliefs about who you are, and what you believe you are capable of.
Developing a habit of trusting your intuition, your ideas and visions, and your capability to create value is essential! You must honestly believe and trust in your own take on things and follow its path! When you trust this belief, you automatically are elevated–leading your own way forward!
People, who are destined for greater life experiences, have a point of view that is always future-based, yet they function entirely in the present. They only take lessons from the past, not the baggage.
Entrepreneur leaders demonstrate their personal leadership by the quality of their own thoughts, which in turn, manifests into the quality of their actions which determines their results. These are the folks who lead by elevating the life experience of all they come into contact with. These people light the way for others by their own example. These leaders inspire their teams to believe in their own capability and potential more than in the evidence of any current limitations.
In working with hundreds of entrepreneur leaders over three decades, I’ll suggest there are four core leadership skills that scale an early stage business to higher levels:
1) Being a strategic thinker.
Naturally the old saying “energy flows where attention goes” applies to your strategic thinking for a bigger future. A strategic vision requires disciplined focus. Building the strategy to scale your business is about exclusion not inclusion. Entrepreneurs who scale seem to have an innate talent for strategic thinking. Like a musician has talent for music. They can see patterns of opportunity in the noise of the marketplace that others miss.
2) Being a flawless Implementer.
A strategic vision without flawless execution is nothing more than a pipe dream. Execution is where the marketplace will measure the quality of your presence. Can you consistently deliver on your value proposition to higher value customers and clients? Do you empower your employees to innovate experiences your customers will love? Do your products and services represent the “one and only” choice of customers and clients? Flawless implementation of your strategic vision is your ability to get the right shit done.
3) Having a keen eye for attracting talent.
Entrepreneurs who scale know talent when and they see it and they have a gift for picking winners. All great leaders attract and are surrounded by a team of talented, highly motivated, wicked smart people. These are the people who share your value system and believe and share in the mission of the business as if it were their own. Like you, their trust and integrity is without compromise. To scale your business, you’ll need to create a customer-focused culture led by a team of the best and the brightest.
4) Being in service to the growth of others.
People, like money, are the blood of the business. Nurturing and growing the potential of the people inside your business is an essential skill for taking it to greater levels. As you scale, the collective talent and capabilities of your employees will require an equal expansion. The capabilities of people to scaling beyond the million-dollar mark are far different than those required to scale a $10 million enterprise. All along the way, at every stage of growth, entrepreneur leaders who scale know what human capabilities will be essential for achieving results. More importantly, as they develop their people potential, they know who will lead when they're no longer there.