What is the key to great business leadership? It may be different for every individual. But certainly leadership is an important ingredient in entrepreneurial success. In this roundup, we look at some ideas about leadership, some case studies and some things entrepreneurs need to know to run their businesses. Do you have what it takes for great business leadership?
Being a great leader: Do you have what it takes? Being an entrepreneur often means being a great leader, at least on some level. And while leadership qualities have always been somewhat elusive, here’s a look at what researchers say may truly create the “managerial mystique.” Inc.com
A few more thoughts on leadership. Some people would argue that leaders and managers aren’t the same and that understanding the difference between the two, their strengths and the way they approach problems and the world, is crucial in business and beyond. Seth Godin’s Blog
Branding & Customer Relations
The key to understanding brand. For entrepreneurs starting a new business, understanding brand can be hugely important. Clearly brand includes more than simply a logo and a company name. What brand are you building for your product or service…or for yourself or your company? Youngentrepreneur
The real key to business success. The real key to business success isn’t creating the perfect product, developing the perfect brand, developing the perfect marketing plan or inventing the perfect system of distribution. The real key to business success is simple: knowing your customer’s needs. Seth Godin’s Blog
Going global from home. The Internet has made going global a possibility for even the smallest businesses given the right product or service. But going global with a home-based Internet business does require considering a few important points. Youngentrepreneur
Don’t forget your customers. You may know where your company is headed, but don’t forget about the needs of the customers who put you where you are today. This case study on the missteps of a large company that misread its customers can be a warning to all entrepreneurs of the dangers in loosing site of your business’s most important resource. Yahoo! Finance
Tips & Trends
Wholesaler’s success strategy takes the cake. Check out this interview with David Overton, who transformed his parents’ struggling wholesale cheesecake business into a brand worth millions using limited marketing and an unusual success strategy. WSJ
Exporting entrepreneurship. In a highly competitive global economy where great entrepreneurship is one of the keys to recovery and prosperity, the U.S., with its current immigration law, may be exporting its entrepreneurial talent at a time when it can least afford to do so. Inc.com
Looking for funding alternatives. There are financing options for businesses beyond VC investment or bank loans. The key is to find the financing option that is right for you. Here is a look at one of those options in detail. Be sure to explore all the opportunities when raising money for your business. AVC
Why entrepreneurs need to be on fire. In this humorous but on-the-money guest post by the mysterious FAKEGRIMLOCK (readers who aren’t fans of The Transformers will have to search Google for this one) we look at the real motivation behind business leadership. Are you on fire as a leader in your business? Feld Thoughts
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I really like the “Why entrepreneurs need to be on fire” link. It does feel like that sometimes. Got to power through obstacles.
Leadership is the art of mobilizing others toward shared aspirations in an ethical manner. Leaders must take care of employees who, in turn, are responsible for taking care of all other stakeholders: owners, customers, suppliers, the government, community and the environment, thereby resulting in an increase in the welfare of all parties involved.
Great leaders are visionaries whose intuition helps them to recognize and capitalize on business opportunities in a timely manner. Their success is based on surrounding themselves with “like-minded” professionals who complement them to help reinforce their strengths and eliminate their weaknesses. They build teams consisting of individuals who complement one another in a way that ensures consistent performance in line with corporate goals. Mediocre leaders surround themselves with yes-people who are unable to contribute positively to the bottom line!
The wisdom of effective leaders enables them to appreciate the views of their inner circle and others. In situations where consensus cannot be reached, they have an uncanny ability to cut to the chase and make informed decisions. They foster an environment that encourages the sharing of ideas through brainstorming while realizing that innovation need not be preceded by the existence of committees.
True leaders place a great deal of emphasis on culture and shared values. They realize that business involves human beings and that proﬁtable growth results from fruitful relationships. Formal power is entrusted to them by virtue of their position in the company. Informal power results from their core belief system. They lead by example, thus earning the respect and admiration of their peers and subordinates. As a result, employees are enthusiastic about going beyond the call of duty for “their” leaders.
Great leaders build organizations that are vibrant and performance driven. They structure compensation packages that reward people on the basis of individual as well as team performance. They believe that a base salary pays the bills, whereas variable compensation, including EBITDA-based bonuses, motivate employees to challenge themselves and increase their contribution to the ﬁrm consistently.
Leadership traits can create a virtuous cycle for the organization’s stakeholders. Ethical leadership calls for morals, fairness, caring, sharing, no false promises or unreasonable demands on others, a genuine “green” approach, rather than “green washing,” as an exercise in public relations, etc. Is “ethical leadership” an oxymoron?