Entrepreneurs love to lead from the front. They invest blood, sweat and tears to stretch, strive, drive and pride themselves on the fact they beat a path for others to follow.
Yet leading from the front isn’t always the best option. It can sometimes cause entrepreneurs to stretch themselves too thin and make it difficult for other people to follow them “into battle” because they never stand a chance of keeping up. Entrepreneurial leaders can then become their own worst entrepreneurial enemy. If they don’t evolve their leadership style, growth can become stunted, because the leader cannot ‘let go’. If they step away, the business slows down or grinds to a halt.
In the same way, an entrepreneur develops and hones their skills as they launch a business, this too is the next step in an evolutionary business journey. The key difference between Transformational Leadership is that further growth is achieved through and with others.
Time is money
When a business grows, a business owner can only do so much themselves before they slow down. Identifying where they are most valuable is important (and they may need a coach to help them). Then they can find the skills and systems to hand pretty much everything else over to staff or outsource to trusted providers. This clearly demonstrates trust in a team and releases capacity to work on the business.
People before profit
The fundamental cornerstone of transformational leadership is the ability to connect with the people they lead and focus on helping them succeed individually. This engenders personal loyalty. It’s imperative to ask staff what they want to personally achieve, or what it is they love doing, and see if those goals can be integrated into the business plan.
Vicarious vision enables delegated decisions: If an entrepreneur finds staff are coming to him or her every time a decision needs to be made because they aren’t sure what the vision is, the business will struggle to stay agile. A transformational leader must share the vision in a way their people can really relate to and this will help them to steer the business in the right direction with confidence.
Embracing creative challenge: An entrepreneur may default to surrounding themselves with likeminded people. That’s great to start with, yet can quickly lead to “group-think”. It amplifies team weaknesses and biased thinking patterns. Actively seek and encourage people who think differently yet with respect and enthusiasm. The outcomes will be more positive.
Authentic vulnerability: To be truly transformational a leader must ensure he or she is authentic, and that usually means embracing the fact that they are fallible. Authenticity can transform the connection between a leader and their people to one that will stand the test of time.