In the startup world, only two things are guaranteed: that there will be a lot of hard work, and that you might fail anyway. And even if you really and truly have a great product, that’s not often enough anymore. Success also takes energy, patience and some good old-fashioned hustle. That’s where solid leadership skills come in to play, assuming that you’re not going it alone (hint: don’t).
Articles about leadership are a dime a dozen these days, but I wanted to share this one from Inc.’s Lolly Daskal because her list of five essential leadership skills to master really nails it on the head. My two favorites are below:
The skill of self-awareness
Success begins within. When you have a sense of who you are, it invites you to do something about it. Having self-awareness amounts to being better advised. The more you know yourself, the closer you can become to being all you can be.
The ability to create an inspired culture
A culture of inspiration and motivation influences others to perform at their best. One of the most important assets of any enterprise and every business are the employees and its culture. Together they create a system of shared passion and commitment, which creates an environment that breeds, talent, growth, development, and creativity.
I’d also like to propose the following skills as well:
The power of salesmanship
I’m talking more about the power of sales as a recruitment tool here. Most entrepreneurs will tell you that people are their most important resource, but actually convincing qualified, talented people to join the fray is a lot harder if you can’t give them a good reason why. They are, after all, taking a risk and may be asked to put in extra work for less pay. So if you can sell them on the vision of your startup, it can go a long way.
The ability to pause
In a startup, it’s not uncommon for everyone to be juggling two, three, even four different jobs at once. Wires are inevitably going to crossed, balls dropped, opportunities missed. When the walls begin to feel like they’re closing in, it’s hard to resist pushing everything into overdrive in order to “get caught up.” Sometimes, it’s better to recognize an opportunity to step back, assess the situation and really think about what’s going on.
Photo Credit: Martin Gysler via Flickr