Leadership means much more that thinking up the idea for a business, setting up a company, or even finding the funding for your new startup. Perhaps you have taken the most active role in the company because your are the founder, or perhaps you don't want to take the training wheels off yet and let someone else have a larger role in the business. Very likely you have a huge vested interest in the company you started, but none of these facts can prepare you to be its main leader. If you are one of the people who loves to be at the top of the totem pole or the most active in your company you will understand this dilemma well.
If you are going to have a successful startup company, you obviously need to understand what it takes to be a good leader. Being a good leader can come naturally to some people, but more often than not, it is a learned skill and one that a leader needs to keep sharpening and crafting to be effective.
Every employee may not respond in the same way to your leadership, and continual watchfulness for how to manage a valued employee who needs something different is advisable. You don't need to be the leader that everyone likes, but you can be the one that makes the company (and the people working for the company), successful.
Not only do you need to know how to lead well, but you need to be able to communicate how to be a good leader to those you select to have leadership roles in your company, such as sales managers, VP's, and other managerial positions. Lets take a quick look at what traits you want to promote and cultivate on your leadership team.
Lead from the front
This sounds a bit cliche, but what does it mean? This means that the attitude a leader has will be one that will be emulated by the employees. We have all seen the overweight P.E. teacher in high school....remember how ineffective that one was? A lot of leadership is that of setting an example of what you want and need from your employees. When you are leading and managing people, they want to see that you display integrity, hard work, honesty, and optimism when you walk in the door, and when they see you outside of the office. You will want to set the tone for your business by letting your employees see you working hard. The expectation for an employee to do the heavy lifting in your business or more than the leader is willing to perform, just doesn't happen. It is your business, after all.
Willing to do any task
Obviously, if you are an MBA from Harvard, and you are running the companies' finances while you get a CFO appointed, your time would not be well spend sweeping the parking lot or emptying garbage cans all day. Your employees need to see that you don't consider yourself above doing mundane work that some might deem should only be delegated. At the same time, you need to be able to do any task once in a while. Maybe you should consider sitting down with a new sales employee and giving them some personal tips on how to be successful with their new clients. This type of coaching can show your entire company that you are willing to do what it takes to be a team builder and that growing fine sales (or whatever position) isn't calculated by you as a dirty job. Deliberate actions such as these have immense benefits when it comes to morale.
Respect everyone's time
The last thing that I like to stress is that a good leader will respect their own time and everyone else on the team. A good leader will work on time management skills so that the people in their office will do the same and respect each others time. When a leader can manage their own time well and make sure that every minute has value, then the employees in their care will also start to see that this leader values them and shows it by being considerate of their time.
Personally developing and acquiring leadership mastery can inspire all employees to be better workers, but most importantly, you will cultivate other leaders in your company.