How to Create a Successful Startup When Leadership Isn’t Your Strong Suit
We always hear about the importance of leadership in running a startup. You want to be a leader not a boss. But less attention is paid to the people who weren’t born to lead. Not everyone has the personality to lead a whole company. That doesn’t mean you can’t run a successful company. It just means you must do things differently.
It’s the Consistency that Matters
When you’re getting your business online you might be thinking about how much of a leader you have to be. The truth is that it’s not so much the degree of leadership that matters it’s the consistency.
What do we mean by ‘consistency’?
If a leader acts in exactly the same manner over a period of time the company will naturally adapt to that person’s quirks. You’ll know where your weaknesses are and you’ll be able to plug the gap. It’s just like what you would do if you weren’t a marketer. You would employ someone else to manage the online marketing budget, rather than struggle on by yourself.
As you can see, simply being consistent in what you do is more important than straight leadership.
Can You Outsource Your Leadership Obligations?
To an extent, it’s possible to outsource many of the tasks a leader would take on. But you can’t get away from leadership entirely.
Let’s use an example to illustrate this. An aspiring movie maker wants to launch their first production. But they’re not the sort of person who can yell at people. They don’t have a lot of experience. Most of those specific roles in their new startup can be outsourced. It will cost but it can be done.
What this movie maker can’t do is outsource the decision making at the highest level. And that applies to every type of company. You’ll always be the person making the decisions at the highest level.
So, What Can You Do if Leadership isn’t Your Strong Suit?
You have a couple of options at your disposal. The first option is to simply get better at leading. Read some books, take some courses, and look at yourself in the mirror. Review the areas where you’re failing and work on them. Just because you’re not a strong leader doesn’t mean you can’t be in the future.
Another option is to bring on a few advisors. These advisors will be able to lead the day-to-day operations of the company and give you the information you need to decide where to go next. That’s minimal leadership in action, and it’s done in a way that doesn’t hamstring the operations of your startup.
But Won’t this Cost?
The alternative to learning as you go is to bring on educated, experienced people from the outside. Unless you happen to be friends with all those people, and they want to work for free, you’re going to have to find space in your budget. This is the price you pay when you want experts to fill the gaps in your knowledge.
But it’s one of the startup costs you should never cut because it’s people that make a company. The right people can completely change your company’s fortunes around.
You’re Stronger Than You Think
First-time entrepreneurs are the most likely people to believe that they can’t do something. Whether it’s marketing a company or just making the website mobile-friendly, they’re nervous about taking on something they’ve never done before. The same principle applies to leadership.
Don’t assume that you can’t lead because you haven’t done it before. Look to big industry influencers, both present and historical. Investigate what they did and how they dealt with major problems. Even if you can’t speak to them directly, you’ll learn a lot and you’ll be able to tailor your leadership style accordingly.
Last Word – Leadership isn’t the Be All and End All
Studies have shown that consistent leadership is more important than the degree of leadership involved. If you have the money and a lack of confidence, bring in outsiders to help you out. But the best thing you can do is to identify your weakest areas and work on them.
How will you improve your leadership skills?