As an entrepreneur, I just love the opportunity to get another 365 chances to do something special - 365 days to shine! I also know that to shine I need to create value. I'm delighted also that the great Albert Einstein agrees when he noted "Strive not to be a success, but rather to be of value." Well said that man…
The entrepreneurial mindset is geared towards value, as generally she is dissatisfied with the present and wants to change something to make it better.
But, this cannot be done solo or in a silo - it takes leadership. So as I go into 2014, here are my thoughts on what makes great entrepreneurial leaders.
Whether heading up a corporate or running a new start-up, the girl at the helm must have a clear vision of what she is doing, where she wants to go and, most importantly, be able to convey this to others. Setting a goal is fine and dandy, but the context of why a company actually exists is vitally important.
The capacity to paint a clear picture of how to get to the promised land is a key quality of the entrepreneurial leader.
Once this long-term vision has been burned on the DNA of those on the journey, the next thing is a relentless focus on the steps needed to get there.
At Entrepreneurial Spark we have 'Focus Focus Focus' as our first entrepreneurial mindset. As she executes, this laser-like focus keeps the entrepreneur building the foundations.
A great example of this is Alexa Scott, CEO and founder of I Do Licious - an innovative wedding deals platform. Alexa runs her team in the West Coast Hatchery with precision focus. She makes sure that I Do Licious is always on track, providing real value for her customers. In essence - doing exactly what it says on the tin - quality wedding deals at cheaper prices.
But Alexa also demonstrates that uber-entrepreneurial leadership quality: she develops her bench strength continuously. A company, regardless of size, is all about the quality of its staff.
From John Lewis to I Do Licious - engendering whole-hearted employee engagement is crucial.
Alexa states: "Getting married is one of the key events in someone's life. My staff must always be mindful of this. Every interaction - whether online, by phone or face-to-face - has to capture how special we view the customer and their big day.
"It's more than just customer service. I'll leave nothing to chance, so my staff have to be evangelists. That is up to me to make sure they hit a home run every time. I make sure they are empowered to excel. No second chances once a bride feels let down."
Google produces 132,000,000 hits in 0.47 seconds when the word "leadership" is searched for. But, in essence, just a few small behaviours can make all the difference in any organization - large or small.
So as you go into 2014, what kind of leader will you be? The kind that inspires the most important asset you have - your staff - with clear focus, vision and purposeful direction? Go figure…