Written by Kouzes and Posner, the book ‘The Leadership Challenge’ describes five must needed qualities for a leadership to be effective in an organization. These qualities include modeling the way, inspiring a shared vision, challenging the process, enabling others to act, and encouraging the heart.


The book also mentioned that one of the main qualities that unite all the above mentioned traits happens to be personal credibility. Personal credibility is important in any organization, especially in a startup firm where one can expect the work culture to be young and fragile. As such, the success of the startup organization in the long run would depend completely on the credibility of the launch product as well as the early stage leadership team.

Personal credibility as mentioned above can be established in a startup organization in the following ways.


Being realistic

While long terms goals are essential, the road immediately ahead would also need to be taken into careful consideration. Effective leaders usually tend to focus on goals that can be achieved both on the short and long terms. These leaders would ignore market hypes in order to focus their energies solely on an easy to follow, tangible path for the entire organization to follow.

That path would lead to the customer at the end. For instance, a company can create mockups of products/services they plan to launch in the future so that customers would know when and where to look out for the product after the launch.


Immediate decisions

With market trends changing at a fast pace, it is imperative for the leadership of a startup organization to establish check in points at frequent intervals during the developmental phase.

This check in points would be used to ensure that nobody in the team strays away from the vision of the company, and wastes precious time and resources in the process. An effective way to achieve this is to set up weekly feedback reports that would help leaders keep a track of their team’s progress on a weekly basis. Quarterly reviews can also be arranged to mete out long term goals based on team performance.


Being there at the moment

Effective leaders would need to understand that they would need to support the team at all times, irrespective of whether it is the middle of the night or early in the morning.

Support does not mean just being present with the team, but helping them in any way possible so that they can focus on their work instead of getting distracted. In certain cases, this would also mean a leader would need to do additional chores like ordering dinner, triaging bugs and even cleaning the coffee pot; all for the sole purpose of motivating the team and ensuring their morale remain high throughout the work.

A startup organization would most definitely need an effective leader to achieve success both on the short and long terms. An effective leadership should have personal credibility. This personal credibility is what would make an effective leadership strong enough to carry the entire organization forward.