How do you lead a startup? Would you want to be an authoritative power your peers look up to for advice and decisions? Or would you want to be someone they can easily approach as well as hang around with after office hours? What would be the best option for you?
The general truth is that individuals who follow a leader usually expect them to be a level above them as well as a little away from them. That said and done, one cannot expect this truth to work in every industry. Let’s take a large bureaucracy and a small startup into consideration here.
The leader of a large bureaucracy can easily hide behind a so called authoritative screen, communicating decisions and other information to individuals below him/her who in turn would communicate the same to the lower levels and so on. Personal leadership is hardly required in a bureaucratic infrastructure where everyone works for someone else’s vision.
The scenario is quite different in a small startup company however. People who work here don’t do so because they didn’t get better jobs, but because the vision and culture of a smaller company would help these people do things they were not able to do in bigger firms.
This scenario would require the leader of the small startup firm to be clear of his/her vision as well as communicate the same effectively to everyone else in the firm in order to inspire them. The leader would also need to take the responsibility of leading those who follow him/her diligently.
Although natural leaders are aplenty in the field, the natural ability combined with the desire to lead is what makes a great leader. For instance, an individual can be a compassionate and just leader while another individual would tend to focus on the important things and worry less about things that don’t matter. Some leaders tend to have a calming effect on their followers in even the most stressful of situations, thereby giving the latter morale support and confidence to push on.
No two leaders are alike. However, a good leader would tend to work on his/her strengths while emulating certain characteristics from other successful leaders in the industry. It pays to note down certain leadership characteristics that have a strong impact on others (including the leader) and try to incorporate a portion of the same into personal leadership styles. The path to becoming a great leader would be continuing, but would be mighty rewarding along the way.
Becoming a great startup leader would require one to be a great source of inspiration for his/her followers. It requires the leader to continuously motivate his/her followers to work towards a common vision. Great leaders are those who work on their positive traits while incorporating the positive traits of other leaders in their leadership styles.