Author: Horia Damian, CEO and Founder Partner of the contact management app Canvy, startup entrepreneur and tech passionate
Leadership and management sometimes are one and the same, while in other instances one of them needs to take control, when getting your team through significant moments. Need to motivate and inspire? The leader takes the scene. Need to solve a situation efficiently? Perhaps it’s time for the manager to enter the spotlight.
It depends upon each of you to decide which to apply when. However, at the core of each entrepreneur there is a mix of courage, innovation, efficient habits and lifetime beliefs – out of which he provides for the team.
Empowering behaviors – checklist
Nevertheless, what makes the person behind the above-mentioned roles the right person for the job? Speaking from my own experience, you definitely have to believe in yourself. Of course, the abilities and personal experience are fundamental. Never forget that you have what it takes for leading a team. Never forget the importance of your activity – personally, I strongly believe that management has an important role in empowering team members to deliver results in a particular project.
Here are 4 basic empowering behaviors:
– Share the goals and the strategy with your team members & even involve them in defining or adjusting these key elements
– Maintain an open atmosphere that encourages personal contributions
– Allow individual freedom of decision whenever possible
– Openly and clearly approach the role each member plays in the team and define the area of allotted responsibility
Mentorship – the not-so-distant cousin of leadership
The two aspects of receiving valuable advice – being mentored and mentoring – are a welcome presence all along an entrepreneurial career. On purpose or even incidentally, there are always people who leave their mark upon our way to approach things in life and, of course, make our presence felt in a similar way to those who come after us.
For me, understanding that there is always something to learn represented an essential step in itself. Once you have this inner approach, you are the first to gain – by enriching your inner universe constantly; secondly, of course, this benefits to your organization.
Carrying the team over difficult moments – duty or option?
When it comes to the way we surpass difficult moments here at Canvy, I would not put the issue in terms of duty or fairness – though this is a way of approaching it too. It is only fair to appreciate the hard work even through difficult times, and give back support and continuity – and optimism. But I would rather bring into question the right entrepreneurial attitude I think it is absolutely necessary to have towards the team. The rest comes from here.
I think it is important to see yourself as the central support element of all team members and thus to create, facilitate and maintain the frame within which the team is at its highest level. How do you know you are on the right track? When you see signs that you are truly making each individual feel more powerful, when you seem to add 1 + 1 and the result is more than just 2. The more the better for the project, and this should also be mirrored by each team member.
Find your own recharge method – and use it!
A technique that I’m trying to always employ when faced with difficult times is to leave it for a day or two. The fresher an event is, the more it risks to influence the rational decision that needs to be taken.
Personally, I try to avoid the effects brought on by a strong emotional load. This way, by distancing myself a bit, the perspective is restored and I may place that event/moment in its rightful place – the decision will be objectified and – I think – better.
Honesty and leadership/management – a match made in heaven?
Honesty is essential for me, and is directly related to the mutual trust you ideally work on building – bidirectional –on the one hand, within the team, and on the other hand, with all the stakeholders involved in a project.
There are further points of trust and honesty in managing a startup project – the customer will only use your product, if he or she feels that – at least – you are striving to make the world’s best product in a particular category. Ideally, you can involve the stakeholders in the project and thus find themselves in it. Generating meaningful bonds puts extra value in our work – and provides honesty, to ourselves and towards the others.
Entrepreneurship predetermination – the “type games”
Talking about types of people that are most suited to lead than others would be a stretch. I feel it is a rather limited take on what being an entrepreneur really means. Between predetermination and choice, I value the second one the most.
We are all children of our times in certain ways, as well as the result of our ancestors and family. Yet, by looking exclusively at these two factors, we ignore the power of will and of change held by each individual – which would be false. We constantly work on our own development and growth. What we get out our personal experiences can mold into a unique, personal style of leadership & entrepreneurship.
When we are fully there, there is this wonderful feeling of being at ease, which transmits to all those who interact with us and is perceived positively by all those who matter in various situations, from the clients and the team members to the shareholders.