Probably, you’ve heard business owners saying that entrepreneurs were born to lead. In my opinion, this cannot be further from the truth. Yes, entrepreneurs are visionaries that put their own spin on a product or service and manage to make it golden. They have a business idea, they see opportunities and seize them; they manage to design the best solutions and go out of their way to incorporate innovation in their field. However, all these aspects do not mean that they are great leaders.
As a matter of fact, the chances of finding a person that has both the ability of being a successful entrepreneur and a great leader are slim. The entrepreneur is the person responsible for building a ship, but the leader is the captain that guarantees a smooth sailing. The ones who possess both characteristics are able to change the world. Honestly, you can’t ask for more. Every business needs not only a visionary, but also people who can translate the vision into action and make things happened.
The good news is that entrepreneurs that do not possess leadership skills are still able to succeed, but they must be aware that they need to be surrounded by the right people and build their leadership muscles. In most cases an entrepreneur will fail because he or she does not possess the necessary leadership skills.
Here are some signs that tell you that you are not really a natural-born leader, but also ways in which you can improve on your leadership skills.
1. You decided to start your business because you prefer not to have people around you. Leaders tend to attract and develop employees they can lead, while entrepreneurs prefer being alone. To some extent, this can work for entrepreneurs, but successful entrepreneurs know that they need other people too. Introverted entrepreneurs perform extremely well in partnerships with people that enjoy being in the spotlight. Unlike in a corporate setting, an entrepreneur has the privilege to choose the people he or she will be associated with. Surrounding yourself with people you respect and admire will facilitate the work of an entrepreneur.
2. While an entrepreneur makes well-intentioned promises, he or she struggles to fulfill them. A great leader will always keep his or her promises. His personality and his integrity are the main reasons people will trust and follow his or hers lead. If you don’t have the support you need to fulfill the promises you make, make sure you don’t make them in the first place, because it’s incredible tough to regain people’s trust.
3. You tend to neglect yourself. I’ve seen this happen countless times. Entrepreneurs tend to be too busy running their business so they decide to put themselves last. However, leaders have a different mindset. They know that if they do not eat or exercise they won’t be able to lead properly. If you stay healthy, you’ll have more time and energy to put into your business.
4. You decide that your business comes first, while your family or friends fall into the background. So many entrepreneurs neglect and thus jeopardize their relationships with their families or friends because they feel like their business should always come first. The main reasons behind this are: the lack of systems and support and the inability to live in the present. Strong leaders will always value more personal relationships.
5. You simply cannot understand the needs of your employees. So many entrepreneurs scratch their heads when they try to find reasons as to why their employees suffer from a lack of motivation. This usually happens because entrepreneurs do not know how to inspire their employees and recognize their efforts in a meaningful manner. On the one hand, entrepreneurs will be inspired. On the other hand, leaders will inspire others. They have the ability to put themselves in the shoes of their employees and determine what they want and need in order to feel motivated and inspired. Despite the fact that some people are motivated by financial rewards, others are motivated by the words and actions of the leader.
What other problems have you encountered as a leader and business owner? Leave your suggestions and answers in the comment section.