- Prepare yourself for more than just management
- Social responsibility and serving the community
- Take emotional intelligence seriously
- About brand strengthening
- Use storytelling to attract interest to the brand
- Create an Internet presence amongst the target audience. And increase it.
- Be sensitive and attentive to the end-users problems. Talk with the audience.
Prepare yourself for more than just management
Leadership is the ability to influence people’s behavior and attitude. Management is a formal process of commanding and deciding. — Dixon
Can you call yourself a leader? Are you capable of leading others to the goal? Do your partners share the same mission and the same vision as you?
If you have ever pinned yourself down to a question “Am I a leader in my startup team? Am I strong enough to launch my own thing?”, you might have been deluded by doubting thoughts. Headlines all over Google say “Leaders are born, not made”. The statement can be a bit of inconvenience for those who raised leaders in themselves: Oprah Winfrey, Howard Schultz, Ralph Lauren went through the path of poverty, self-doubts, maturing at a very young age to being masters of dreamed-of jobs and titles.
The behavioral theory says that people become leaders by teaching and developing necessary skills in themselves. If that would not be true, why would the world ever create and enroll in courses of Leadership & Management?
Abraham Lincoln was the highly adored president because he used to greet the cleaners in the White House by name and give them a firm shake. It was the uttermost manifestation of respect to the people disregarding their social position. That’s what a true leader does — always inspires and supports. A leader is never subjected to manipulation or frivolity but can find the right words to encourage honesty, openness, and selfless help. A leader should be an all-rounder at the same time, but never be afraid of asking for help or advice. No one is an isolated island holding all knowledge in the Universe.
A leader is a wise opportunist who invests firstly in people’s potential and teamwork to reach enough strength for using the opportunities ahead. That’s the essential difference between a leadership role and a managerial one. Not every manager can be a leader, lacking maturity or determination to lead people to the goals in a healthy motivational spirit encompassing the problems, opportunities, and wishes of everybody and the team as a whole. Debates around the difference between management and leadership, as processes of influence on others to reach a goal, made Michael Colenso, author of leadership & management books, draw a parallel between the two concepts.
Social responsibility and serving the community
We inherit our pasts, identities, family treasures, values and often take them for granted. How about being pillars of the community? Communitarian philosophy by Immanuel Kant says that in addition to voluntary and universal duties, we have obligations of membership, solidarity, and loyalty. However, this is all based on consent. So, leadership should bind closely with social responsibility and bring changes to the community they live in, or even to the whole world. However, this is only possible and effective on condition the leaders, the entrepreneurs, the startups give their fair consent to serve. The art of change management lies in the subliminal desire to commit and find solace in watching the world harvesting all the good you’ve achieved with your startup.
Not only do businesses have to think about improvements they offer to the cities, countries by default after launching their thing, but think over the changes in advance.
1. Plan changes, understand the future impact, find reasons why to bring improvement, and in what field.
2. Take a step-by-step transition to new methods, involving people in the process.
3. Stabilize and support changes, awarding people for achievements.
Take emotional intelligence seriously
Have you heard about Emotional Intelligence, but never discovered deeper? IQ is out-fashioned. The 21st-century accent is on a balanced mindset, namely emotional intelligence you should use in business, family, university circles, and everywhere.
It is all about learning how to identify your own emotions and feelings, as well as the emotions of others. When you are aware of the cause and reason of your emotion, you can manage it. Emotional intelligence is prerogative in leadership because it cultivates:
- ability to solve conflicts
- social skills
- ability to deduce from the situation quickly and make well-thought deeds
Emotional intelligence is a necessary skill in managing relations with people and making decisions. Controlling your emotions helps to exclude your personal judgments, inner whims, and doubts from decision making:
- never make decisions when you are angry
- step out to look at the situation from a different perspective: “We have such a situation when…. I am going to do it next…. I am acting in a wise/angry/polite manner, but it would be better to act politely to make people calm/less stressed/motivated. The person that was trying to convince me is being self-centric/shy, that’s why I had to talk with her in an absolutely other spirit”.
- do not focus on your advantage, but on efficient resolving of a situation to preserve satisfaction of all sides
- resolve a conflict by right gests and facts, not empty words and yelling
- look directly into people’s eyes, never avoid eye contact when talking about essential things
- stay positive, but prepare yourself for different emotions boiling inside. Ask “Why am I feeling this? Is my response based on emotions or logic?”
- tell people when you feel uncomfortable about certain situations. Let them know how you feel, and they won’t be afraid to share the same
Books to read on Emotional Intelligence: Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ by Dr. Daniel Goleman, Go Suck a Lemon: Strategies for Improving Your Emotional Intelligence by Michael Cornwall, Emotional Intelligence Pocketbook Little Exercises for an Intuitive Life Gill Hasson.
About brand strengthening
How to create meaningful experiences for your end-users? Finding psychological touchpoints through which people access your brand. Branding is building a town from a few bricks, and the basements for these bricks should be the right values, principles, and policies.
Use storytelling to attract interest to the brand
Behind each startup, there is a story of its founder or leadership team. This story if told effectively can promote your brand as a gem — one per million. Before creating a presence on the Internet, you exactly understand why you are building the product and why you are contributing to its success. You have to be soaked up with ideas and values you bring to the world with your startup. If you have a story to tell, you do not have to struggle to invent one to impress. Artificial stories never succeed. The world will challenge you to protect, stand for the product you’re building. Prepare yourself to be a leader, speak your mind to the world. Brands that have a distinct leader with stories behind are better recognized, differ from others with a unique potential to impress.
Create an Internet presence amongst the target audience. And increase it.
Another question for which you’ll need a bunch of creativity: How to create content that helps? Carrying the values of your startup, associating with them is quite important. That’s what part#1 storytelling was about. Now the task is to reflect this story in advertisements. Adverts can be launched on social media and Google. You can use e-mail marketing and send your customers weekly updates or sales. Or you can create a presence in your hometown using billboards, posters, magazines.
What content should you have?
- clear to transmit and reflect who you are, what you do, who your audience is;
- interesting and creative to attract people who want to possess unique things before anybody else reaches it;
- enough to penetrate people’s minds as something new they hear about recently and need to try.
The most important thing in launching the startup — your product should be of that quality your customers never expected it to be. Advertisements should be a prelude to the moment people will try the clothes you design, or the app you develop, or the food you cook. The product quality is decisive in whether people will like you or not. The next thing is adding new features and opportunities to your brand. These can top-notch video adverts that mesmerize (remind yourself of Coco Chanel Christmas adverts people love to see each and every winter season): alluring, comfortable, one-of-its-class, supernew, pertaining some specific features your target audience wants. Imagine your startup produces underwear for women of different ages. The main principles and values you’ll insert into your adverts would be:
- convenience, quality
- confidence for natural beauty
Imagine you develop an application that helps create content for social media adverts. The media campaign materials will include ideas and hints to:
- smooth UX for quick creation on a bus, on a plane, before the deadline;
- integrations with users’ favorite design tools and main publishing online institutions;
- variety of creativity and design tools for coloring, styling, typography, and more.
Be sensitive and attentive to the end-users problems. Talk with the audience.
Don’t worry about being successful but work toward being significant and the success will naturally follow, — Oprah Winfrey
You should know your customers as yourself: their fears, doubts, struggles are important to understand what service and help they need from the world. Being sensitive to the problems of others is not a problem, it’s a gift. Though in the business world it is often underestimated, as you have to be a stress-resistant, indefensible wall. However, this is a stereotype as startup founders, business owners, product managers are people who can learn every day how to leverage the service they offer by sympathizing, talking with people, assessing life situations and major events as the ones that impact their consumers so their brand.
While building a startup, look closely at who the leader is:
- More than a manager
- Socially responsible serves the community
- Promotes ideas to the masses
- Sensitive and attentive
- Knows what is acceptance: how to welcome and let go
- Takes the bull by the horns when necessary to live through good and bad days
- Never afraid to ask for advice or help
- Values people