Principles of Success for Women in Leadership

Principles of Success for Women in Leadership by Masithokoze Moyo

A great leader inspires people to have confidence in themselves. But, becoming a great leader is not easy. Successfully manoeuvring through the ups and downs of starting a new business can be one of the greatest challenges a small-business owner faces.

Leadership is one of the areas that many entrepreneurs tend to overlook. Many women leaders, like their male counterparts, work hard to develop ideas, products or services. An entrepreneur’s day; many times, involves juggling, fighting and striving to solve financial issues. We go out and promote our business and sell our products. But we don’t think enough about leading our own people and finding the best “dream team” or brand ambassadors for our businesses.

My journey like yours is indifferent. In this article, I would like to share with you some skills and talents necessary to guide you and your “dream team” into the right direction. These are thoughts researched and drawn from secrets of successful leaders. One common denominator is that anyone with determination, diligence and discipline can develop these skills.

1. Assemble a dedicated and loyal “dream team”

Your team needs to be committed to you and the business. Successful entrepreneurs have not only social and selling smarts, but also the know-how to attract talent and retain it. Colossal business idea simply isn’t enough. You have to be able to identify, attract and retain talent who can turn your concept into a register-ringing success. When putting your team together, look for people whose values are aligned with the purpose and mission of your company. Having people on your team who have tenacity and a candid spirit is really important.

 2. Don’t assume

When you run a small business, you might assume your team understands your goals and mission — and they may. But, everybody needs to be reminded of where the company’s going and what things will look like when you get there. Your dream team may ask, “What’s in it for me?” It’s important to paint that picture for your team. Take the time to really understand the people who are helping you build your business. Entrepreneurs have the vision, the energy, and they’re out there trying to make it happen. But, so often with their dream team, they are assuming too much. It’s almost like they think their enthusiasm by extension will be infectious — but it’s not. You have to bring people into your world and communicate really proactively.

 3. Be authentic at all time to your dream team

It’s a proven fact that great leaders instil their personality and beliefs into veins of their companies. If you be yourself, and not try to act like someone else, and surround yourself with people who are aligned with your values, your business is more likely to succeed. Every business is different and every entrepreneur has her/his own personality. If you’re authentic, you attract the right employees and customers to your organization.

4. Know your obstacles, flaws and weaknesses

Most entrepreneurs are optimistic and certain that they’re driving toward their goals. Every journey is marred with obstacle. It’s being short-sighted as a leader to ignore the existence of these obstacles. Have plans in place to tackle these in case they appear from “nowhere”. You need to know what you’re up against and be able to plan around those things. It’s folly to think that just because you’ve got this energy and enthusiasm that you’re going to be able to conquer all. It’s much smarter to take a step back and figure out what your obstacles are, so the plan that you’re putting into place takes that into account.

5.  Believe in your people

Entrepreneurial leaders must help their people develop confidence, especially during tough times. As a leader, “you are a dealer in hope”. That confidence comes in part from believing in your team. But believing in people alone isn’t enough. You have to help them win.

 6.Keep your dream team engaged

Great leaders give their teams challenges and get them excited about them, says leadership expert Stephen Covey, author of The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People (Free Press, 1989).

7. Stay calm

An entrepreneur has to backstop the team from overreacting to short-term situations. This is particularly important now, when news of the sour economic environment is everywhere.

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