How Entrepreneurs Can Lead By Example And Set Themselves Apart

“Leaders instill in their people a hope for success and a belief in themselves. Positive leaders empower people to accomplish their goals.”

As the old saying goes, a captain is as good as his team. In the context of the business environment, this proverb can be rephrased to — A company is as strong and successful as the leader who drives it.

I firmly believe that each and every member of my workforce at ProofHub is one of the many strong pillars on which our organization stands. However, being the founder and CEO, it’s my sole responsibility to lead from the front and guide my team to work towards achieving organizational goals.

How can I expect my employees to put sincere efforts in work and stay exactly until 6 P.M. when I leave for home early for personal plans? To put it straight, if you want your team to show 100% commitment then you need to put up with 110% dedication to work to drive your employees.

If you want to be an entrepreneur who is admired and respected by the employees, you should walk the talk. You can’t talk one thing and do another. Your hypocrisy triggers doubt, mistrust, suspicion, and resentment within your workforce.

The leader of the pack carries a whole lot of responsibilities on his shoulders and your every action, every word is observed by your team. You can’t expect them to tow the line unless you lead by example and show them that you really mean business.

I have closely followed the lives of some of the most successful entrepreneurs in the world, like Jeff Bezos, Larry Page, Michael Bllomberg, etc,. I have implemented some of their leadership qualities in my work routine, and results have exceeded my expectations.

Here, I am sharing some proven leadership traits that you can follow to lead from the front, and be the leader who can push his team for greatness. Read on to know more about it.

Grind It Out Yourself

As I mentioned in the beginning of this post, entrepreneurs are expected to be more than just the business owners; they should be the leaders who can encourage others to be the best version of themselves.

It’s easy to sit back and pass orders regarding what you want others to do, but true leaders do more than that — they are the first to get their hands dirty.

When you get up from that comfy seat of your air-conditioned office and try your hand at something that’s “not your job”, this inspires your employees to get up from their seats and do the job. Moreover, this act of yours leaves no room for anyone to complain about.

Show them how to do it and they will follow the suit. Sit back, relax, and set yourself up to be hated. The choice is yours!

Plan Your Work and Work Your Plan — Napoleon Hill

Ask any successful entrepreneur the secrets to success and he will tell you about the importance of planning, prioritizing, and time management.

Time is a finite source, and you cannot afford to waste it on irrelevant things. Having a clear plan for the day can help you decide which course of action to take to reach organizational goals in the most straightforward way.

I know a number of business owners and leaders who are well aware of the value of planning, but refrain from investing the necessary amount of time and work to do so. However, planning doesn’t have to be complicated; it can be relatively simple.

Ask yourself four basic questions:

  • Where am I now?
  • What are my priorities?
  • Where do I want to go from here?
  • How do I plan to reach my goals?

Answer these questions with a composed mind and you will be in a better position to know what all needs to be done by you to go further than where you are now.

Maintain a Fine Balance Between Inspiring and Rebuking

Yes I know very well how bad performance by some individuals can make entrepreneurs lose their cool at times. I also realize that an entrepreneur cannot let employees off the hook just for the sake of promoting friendliness in the workplace.

After all, you have to be a hard taskmaster who can clearly tell what are your expectations from the team. While motivating people endears entrepreneurs to the wider team, reprimanding them can lead to conflict. So, creating the right balance between the both holds the key.

A true leader takes an empathic approach to connect with employees and understand their personal aspirations. He infuses positive spirit in them and aligns their personal goals with the organization’s wider objectives.

At the same time, he does not shy away from having tough talks with individuals or the entire team to understand where things went wrong, and finding potential solutions to the problem.

Excellent Communication Skills

We all know how crucial communication is in all aspects of our lives. At the workplace, you should communicate clearly and regularly with your workforce. Entrepreneurs can communicate via various modes — In-person meetings, emails, instant messaging on chat, and video conferencing. Not to forget good old telephone calls though!

However, communication is about merely stating your goals and instructions; leaders should also pay attention to their choice of words, tone, gestures, and expressions you use when talking to the workforce. Be firm in your tone and positive with your body language because these things can help you create a strong impression on other participants.

You need to have excellent written and verbal communication skills to get your point across not just your employees but also stakeholders, vendors, clients, etc.

Be A Smart Listener

Owning a business and running it are two entirely different things, and I’m sure many readers are playing a dual role. Since you’re at the helm of things, it’s understood that there’s a lot of “top-bottom” communication. However, the flow of communication should not be a one-way street where the entrepreneur is doing all the talking.

Smart leaders always want to know what’s going on their team’s mind. They encourage an open door policy where people can come up to them and share their creative ideas or problems they’re facing at work. Try to understand their perspective to create an environment for healthy dialogue at the workplace between the top brass and the lower level.

Listen attentively to what your employees have to say, they are your most valuable asset.

Let The Team Do Their Thing

Say big NO to micromanaging at the workplace. Being a leader means you have to empower individuals to tackle any challenges that may arise during the course of the project on their own.

Many leaders have this knack of interfering far too much in the operations of their teams that can choke employee creativity. Worse, it can lead to creating a constrained work environment. You have defined the mission, vision, values, and goals, now step back and let the team use their talent and creativity to deal with the situation in hand.

Keeping Up With Digital Advancements

Now is the time to embrace latest technologies and digital innovations to keep up with the ever changing business world. Find out what tools and software applications can help you and your teams collaborate better and improve on your performance.

I understand not all of us can be digital gurus, but at least we can have the basic technical knowledge to drive our business forward and engage with our workforce. This will enable you and your teams to achieve more in less time by using the right tools that are designed to meet specific requirements.

For example, you can use a task management software to create tasks and assign them and set deadlines. Similarly, you can use a time tracking software to add timesheets, set time estimates, and create time reports.

Collaborare with teams and clients efficiently and easily with ProofHub. Get started now!”

Take Good Care Of Yourself

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A leader has to be in the best physical and mental health to rub a positive, strong impression on others. Follow a health work-life balance and encourage your employees to follow the same. Don’t let work overwhelm you and your team; it can lead to multiple problems in both professional and personal life.

Get away from the office from time to time, exercise daily, eat healthy, have enough sleep, keep the company of positive people, and you will see how implementing these things will deliver amazing results for you.

Make sure every single member of your team is in sound overall health, and if someone is not at his best then help him to find a way out of it.

Final Thoughts

As a proactive entrepreneur who has benefited from the aforementioned tips, I can assure you that these will help you a great deal in setting the right example for your workforce.

Of course, there can be more ways to inspire others than those that I have mentioned in this article. I will be more than happy if this article can help budding entrepreneurs to lead a competent workforce with great success. Good luck!

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Internet Entrepreneur, CEO of SDP Labs and Founder of ProofHub