Every person who goes into business does so for various reasons and manages their company in a way they deem fit. But ultimately entrepreneurship is about creating jobs and improving society’s standard of living and while there may be ample ways of getting there, successful entrepreneurs have basic underlying traits that make them and their businesses fruitful, says serial entrepreneur and business coach, Arnoux Maré.
Maré has received a series of accolades for his business pursuits and recently launched Africa’s largest training centre, Innovative Learning Solutions during the height of the pandemic. His other business endeavour, Innovative Staffing Solutions employs over 20,000 permanent staff.
Maré, who has recently ventured into business coaching, gives 7 key leadership behaviours entrepreneurs must have.
Laying a foundation
Every exceptional building begins with a solid foundation. Laying your foundation means knowing and understanding the goals and purposes for your business. Successful entrepreneurs acknowledge their foundation and from it, build ethics and other behaviours that will define their business. But having a solid foundation also pertains to a person’s character, without resilience and persistence neither you nor the business can survive the many tribulations that come with starting and operating a business.
Shedding the dead weight
Before becoming a successful entrepreneur, you must recognise and shed any weight that slows down your progress. Laziness and procrastination are examples of habitual practices that delay the process and progress of your business. Shedding the dead weight is a form of introspection and with that, it opens a door for a personal Strength Weaknesses Opportunities and Threats (SWOT) analysis. As an entrepreneur, you need to know what your strengths are, how you can better improve them and be comfortable with outsourcing your weaknesses.
Lift as you rise
When you enter the space of being an entrepreneur, despite whatever motivated you to start, and you wish to incorporate longevity into your empire, you must be willing to help others grow and achieve as well. This could be working alongside the companies in your supply chain or providing students who are studying towards your area of business with on the job experience. This approach of lifting as you rise also applies to your teams, as a leader you must be willing to invest in the growth of your employees because when they feel valued, employees go the extra mile.
Innovate as if your life depends on it
Often entrepreneurs are compared to sharks, not because of a predatorial trait some entrepreneurs exhibit, but because when a shark stops moving it drowns. As an entrepreneur you must constantly find new ways of doing things because the minute you stop innovating, you stop being in the game. This is a mindset shift many businesses fail to adhere to and because of that, they never grow beyond their initial offering until either the environment forces them to adapt or they become obsolete.
It is basic psychology that when someone does something that you approve of, and they get rewarded for that good behaviour, they will continue to display this behaviour in the future with the hope of receiving another award. This approach also inspires the rest of the team and sets a precedent for them to follow in. Rewards do not always need to be monetary; they can be something as simple as offering that celebrated employee a half-day off or coffee and a muffin. The best leaders make a habit of acknowledging people who positively contribute to the company.
Cultivate an inspiring vision
You started your company because of a vision or a goal, but without the buy-in of your team, that vision will remain elusive. Great leaders know to rally their employees behind the organisation’s goals so that everyone is working in sync to achieve those goals. To attain this, equip your employees with enough knowledge and support so that they can pursue their organisational goals with as little supervision as possible. One of the joys of being a leader is the opportunity to motivate and inspire people to do their best work and pursue projects and goals that enable them to grow.
“Leaders inspire others to act by creating a strong shared sense of organisational purpose. Entrepreneurs understand the value their teams offer and work to incorporate these various strengths to achieve the company’s goals,” concludes Maré.