By Okello Okello
” You have touched on some good concepts here. Leaders must not just wield power,but place the bulk of the responsibility on themselves. While we need to share responsibility with our teams, the leader must shoulder the responsibility to ensure teams are provided with the information, tools, and guidance necessary to be successful. Individuals should be shown that their contributions are valued and learning from failure should be encouraged “ (Lizstincellis’s comment on my blog post).
Entrepreneurs are people who understand that there is a little difference between obstacles and opportunities and are able to turn both to their advantage. This needs strong leadership skills. “The first method for estimating the intelligence of a ruler is to look at the men he has around him” (Niccolo Machiavelli). As a leader, you always want your name to be clean at all times and at all costs. Guarding your reputation builds your credibility and trust therefore remember that you are not only protecting your name but your brand as well. As a leader you should;
1. Build Alliances
Leadership and management of all kinds has got bits of politics in it. Politics as much as it has been defined as a dirty game, game of numbers or power struggle. To digress from these definitions, let us focus on business politics as a strategic move to form undefeated alliances. Successful leaders talk to great people, men of wisdom, the experienced and people they look into as mentors. In my last posts, I have mentioned the importance of having mentors and these are some of the simple actions that can propel you and your team to higher levels.
No politicians does it a lone and they will always merge into parties or bring parties together to form strong coalitions to defeat their rivals. As a leader, you gain a lot forming coalitions with experienced people. It is all about learning, copying and advancing what other people have done. Yes you might be having great ideas but you cannot stand a lone. You need people and therefore, take your time and listen to the lowest person holding the lowest rank in your organization. They are also part of the alliance and they might bring valuable information to you.
2. Be Ready to Serve.
Kyle is one of my best friend who has served in the army and it has become part of him that as a leader, he serves those under him first. He puts them ahead of everything including when it come’s to simple things like serving meals. Since this has been part of him for so long, he is nowadays extending it involuntarily to everybody everywhere he is. This is one major discipline in the forces and if something that leaders and managers should imitate from our boys in uniform, then it should be the heart of servant-hood.
To those of us who are Christians, the bible says “Each one of us should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms,” (1 Peter 4:10). It logically follows then that if you are gifted in leadership, then you should use it to serve others. In a deductive argument, I would put it this way;
- Leadership is a gift from God.
- Leadership is one way of ministering God’s grace to people
- Serving others is a way of using our gifts for Gods glory
- therefore leaders can use their positions to glorify God through stewardship.
The world needs servant leaders therefore try and be one.
Entrepreneurs and leaders are known for their risk taking capabilities. This is actually one of the most important characteristics of all business people. The ability to expose their valuables to danger, harm and or loss. Since entrepreneurship is all about increasing your NPV (Net Present Value) and always keeping it positive, it is worth doing your calculations right before you try out a new idea. Plan every step and act with a lot of boldness. What this means is that you should eliminate unnecessary risks in your business life.
4. Mind the two extremes.
As a leader, you should be both a manager and a friend. Never cross the boundaries and never offend the wrong person. You do not want to appear too bossy because then you will be scaring people away. As a manager, you want to build a harmonized team that brews the best chemistry at work.
As a leader, you should also be a friend of many, your employees or people under your leadership should be in a position to see you as a man of wisdom whom they can freely walk into and ask for help. Design a way that works for you and always let your people know that you are the leader. Remember to be a servant leader. You definitely need respect from your team therefore be willing to show respect to them too. Respect and attention are two of the virtues that can be afforded by any body, pay attention and attention will pay you back.
By this time, you probably understand that leadership challenges come in pairs and the decision you take is not important. What is important is living with the standards that come with the decision you make. What comes after the decision is what is important. For more of this check our leadership and management Dilemma series posts.
Please if you find this blog informative, share it on your social media, comment, follow, favorite and let other people learn from it too. That is the spirit of entrepreneurship. We are here to support each other. No one knows everything that is why we share, exchange and learn from one another. God bless you.