Working in a startup isn’t like working in an established business. Workdays in the startup environment are long, grueling, and hectic. Each employee needs to give the company his or her best to get it off the ground.
That’s why leadership skills are a must for any entrepreneur who hopes to guide a startup to long-term success. Unlike a boss, who simply follows the rules and maintains the status quo, a leader must lay the groundwork to establish that status quo. That means inspiring a team to work toward a powerful shared vision.
As a leader, you must know how to find the right team members, how to recognize strengths and weaknesses, how to incorporate feedback, and how to adapt to change. If you don’t already have the leadership skills you need to found a successful startup, never fear; these skills can be learned, and a Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership can impart them.
Learn the Leadership Skills You Need
If you think that being a great leader comes naturally, you’re wrong. Many of the skills you’ll need to be a successful startup leader can be learned – and many entrepreneurs learn them through experience, by making mistakes, failing, and then taking a long hard look at those failures to ensure they don’t happen again.
There’s an easier way to learn leadership skills. When you enroll in an online master’s program like this one, you’ll be signing up to learn the leadership skills you’ll need without having to go through all that painful failure. A Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership teaches you how people tick, how to inspire them, and how to help them reach their own goals by working towards those of the company. You’ll have the chance to learn from real-world examples and the opportunity to network with others who aspire to leadership roles.
Find the Right People
Once you have your leadership skills down pat, you’ll need to find the right people to grow your startup into a thriving, established business. That means you’ll need to have a solid understanding not only of your own strengths and weaknesses, but of those of your team members. This way, you’ll be able to choose team members whose strengths and weaknesses complement one other. If Helen is a great IT person with poor customer service skills and Steve is a great sales guy who couldn’t program his way out of a paper bag, these two team members will complement each other nicely. In an MAOL program, you’ll learn how to recruit a team that can combine all the skills and strengths your business needs.
Inspire Your Team
If you want to inspire the loyalty and hard work of your team, you’ll need to show them that you care about their professional advancement and personal well-being just as much as you care about your own. Even in the draining environment of a startup, people need time to rest, recharge, and recuperate. That includes you! Make sure that every member of your team, yourself included, is able to maintain some sort of work-life balance, especially those with young families.
It’s not just your character as a person that will inspire your team; it’s also the strength of your vision. Bill Gates changed the world because the strength of his vision was compelling enough to inspire the loyalty of his employees. You’ll need a similarly strong vision if you hope to inspired your own team to make your business dreams a reality. When you earn an MAOL, you’ll learn from real-world examples how to craft a compelling vision.
Listen and Adapt
No one gets things perfect on the first try. If you want to lead your start up to success, you’ll need to learn to listen to feedback and adapt to market changes. Be ready to hear feedback from all sides – from your team members, from customers, and from successful entrepreneurs who have trodden the path before you. When you learn to embrace feedback, you can harness it to create a better experience for customers and employees alike.
Adaptability is also key. When Charles Darwin wrote about survival of the fittest, it wasn’t necessarily the smartest, fastest, or strongest he was talking about, but the most adaptable. Standards and attitudes can change rapidly, so make sure you’re ready to adapt quickly to changes and, if possible, anticipate them. MAOL coursework will show you how other successful businesspeople have anticipated and adapted to market changes.
If you want to enjoy start up success, you’ll need to cultivate strong leadership skills first. A Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership program provides the perfect environment to hone those skills. Become the entrepreneur you’ve always dreamed of being when you enroll in an MAOL program today!