Leadership Tips from the Entrepreneur's Library

To be an entrepreneurs and business owner, you have to understand leadership and be excellent at it. Leadership is tough to describe, but Youth Venture explains that “a leader is a person who guides others toward a common goal, showing the way by example, and creating an environment in which other team members feel actively involved in the entire process. A leader is not the boss of the team but, instead, the person that is committed to carrying out the mission of the Venture.” There are numerous qualities that make up successful leaders including being strong, visionary, reliable, audacity, empowering, positive, motivating, decisive and confident. While recruiting, hiring and finding talented people is important, it is just as important to manage and lead employees. Here are some leadership lessons:

Related Post: Entrepreneur's Cookbook: How to Make A Leader


Often leadership comes down to being able to stop on a dime with the hurdles that often come with business and adjust and make wise and quick decisions. Dr. Victoria Grady & Dr. James Grady authors of the The Pivot Point believe that “success in organizational change depends upon maintaining healthy attachments, while supporting and facilitating the successful implementation of new technology, new business process, new systems, new leadership, new office space, and all other types of organizational change.”


In their book Every Leader Is An Artist, Dr. Michael O'Malley and William F. Baker reveal 12 characteristics that artists share with leaders among these are criticism, skill and intent. The authors explain that “Collectively, these attributes make great leadership possible, or, in their absence, difficult. Their presence does not assume leadership excellence, but it does set the range of potential.” O'Malley and Baker additional devote an entire chapter to the idea of focus even defining leadership and art as ” ‘distillation of chaos'.” Using actions from Michael Jordan and Katherine Hays, former rower and chief executive  of the visual effects company Gen Arts, the authors explain “if you want to be successful over the long haul, you can certainly notice where you are and how things are going but you also must quickly put the past behind you in order to immerse your team once again in what it can do better and what it has to do next.”


Resilience conjures the image of a rubber band that is able to emerge and bounce back over and over again despite the “hurdles” or “pitfalls” that sometimes occur. In the Innovative Leadership Fieldbook by Maureen Metcalf and Mark Palmer, the authors explain that resilience “integrates the physical and psychological aspects of leader type and development perspective to create the foundation of a leader's innate stability.” Metcalf and Palmer outline 4 keys to building and retaining personal resilience including (1) Maintaining physical well-being (2) Fulfill life purpose and emotional intelligence (3) Manage thinking and (4) Harness the power of connection.


Ron Roberts, author of The Well-Balanced Leader explains that being in balance is ” thinking about the entire repertoire of responses available in any situation and being free to act on them as needed.” It means not going to extremes (without careful consideration) and not acting either compulsively or automatically.  Furthermore, “Balanced leaders think about the results of their behavior before acting or speaking.” Roberts explains that egolibrium is “the ability to toggle between egocentric and ‘other-centric' attitudes, values, and behaviors for organizational success.”

Tell People Who They Are

Everyone has particular strengths and weaknesses that make them unique and the exceptional leader is able to observe and motivate his or her employees to leverage their themes to reach goals. While it may appear to be simple advice, many leaders don't truly motivate employees to maximize their strengths. Author Michael Dalton Johnson, author of Rules of the Hunt, explains that “the most subtle and powerful rule you'll ever learn for motivating people is to tell them who they are rather than telling them what to do.”

Inspire Creative Intelligence

In Innovation Strategy, Dr. Howard Rasheed uses the example of a honeybees to explain that “creative leaders are the honeybees of our economic ecosystem.” Entrepreneurs such as Steve Jobs are able to be a leaders that are “pollinators” and  successfully lead companies to create some of the most creative and innovative products.



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