To be an entrepreneur and business owner, you have to understand leadership and be excellent at it. There are numerous qualities that make up successful leaders including being strong, visionary, empowering, positive 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 CEO hacks and resources to keep in mind as you build your leadership profile.
#1- Developing a clear & effective vision
The first step towards becoming an effective CEO is to develop a clear and effective vision for the organization. This should include setting realistic goals that will drive the business forward. It should also involve identifying core values and articulating them in such a way that everyone can understand and rally around. At the end of the day, this vision has to be something that everyone in the organization can rally behind. It's the guiding light that shapes all the decisions and actions they make.
Thanks to Mark Buskuhl, Ninebird Properties!
#2- Automating as much as possible
One of those tools is to create an easy way to get employee feedback. Employee feedback ranges from how to do a system better, to note when something isn't working as it should, and what innovation could generate more revenue cuts through a lot of middleman chatter to reach the CEO. Another helpful hack is to automate as much as possible throughout the company. It could be to automatically pay bills, schedule employees, send out paychecks, or email clients. A third hack that CEOs can do as a part of leadership is to delegate.
Thanks to Steve Mascarin, Taunton Village Dental!
#3- Continuous learning
One of the most valuable CEO hacks I've discovered is the power of continuous learning. As leaders, it's crucial to stay updated with the latest industry trends, management techniques, and personal development strategies. To achieve this, I make it a priority to read extensively and listen to podcasts that provide valuable insights from successful entrepreneurs and thought leaders. This constant pursuit of knowledge helps me stay ahead of the curve and make informed decisions for my company.
Thanks to Daniel Seeff, Foot Cardigan!
#4- Listening to biographies
One easy way to continuously learn and improve your leadership skills is via business-related podcasts. Listening at 2x speed is a great way to use your time more efficiently. Personally, I like to listen to biographies about various business leaders to learn how they built and managed their businesses. Very often there are lots of golden nuggets that we can use to apply to our own companies.
Thanks to Josh Amishav, Breachsense!
It's not always about the groundbreaking new tech or the flashiest social media accounts. Often, it's about blending the old with the new. Picture this: starting your day with the “two-minute rule” — if a task takes less than two minutes, do it now. It's simplicity in action, but dang, it clears out your to-do list FAST. Books are pure gold. And as my last note, connecting with others through networking. That's where the fresh-out-of-the-box ideas come from!
Thanks to Haley Slade, Slade Copy House!
#6- Leveraging technology
As a CEO, you can leverage technology to effectively manage your business and help it grow. There are a variety of tools available that enable you to streamline processes, increase efficiency, and reduce costs. Examples include project management software, customer relationship management (CRM) systems, invoicing programs, automation platforms, and more. Take time each week or month to review your progress, set new goals, identify areas for improvement, and take a break from the hustle.
Thanks to Evan Tunis, Florida Healthcare Insurance!
#7- Prioritizing daily tasks
My favourite hacks/resources come down to valuable practices that I have developed into consistent habits. I begin each day by listing daily tasks and prioritizing them. I then write tasks into my daily calendar, placing the most difficult tasks in the morning when my mind is clearer. This may sound simple, but it works. Similarly, every evening I mentally review the day by assessing what worked, what didn’t, and what tasks were not completed. I also take a lot of notes, either on my phone or in my business journal so I can revisit topics after meetings.
Thanks to Ryan Davies, CancerVax!
#8- Developing a thick skin to rejection
Develop a thick skin to rejection and criticism. When faced with early-stage failure and too much negative feedback, self-doubt can creep in. This is natural and is part of every entrepreneur's journey. But the key is to keep an open mind, analyze what happened, and learn from the situation. As long you have a product or service that fulfills a specific need and has an apparent demand for it, take these rejections as opportunities to grow. Learn to let go of perfection while aiming for constant improvement in product quality and consumer service.
Thanks to Brian David Crane, Caller Smart Inc.!
One essential hack is the power of delegation – learning to entrust capable team members with tasks and responsibilities, allowing us to focus on high-level decision-making and innovation. Another game-changing approach is the principle of leading by example; when we demonstrate dedication, integrity, and a strong work ethic, our teams are inspired to emulate these qualities.
Thanks to Lucia Zelesco, Zelesco Consulting!
#10- Listening to your crew’s ideas
One of the best leadership hacks I’ve ever heard is “listening.” Listening to your crew’s ideas and concerns is a great way to build trust and spark innovation. Another great leadership hack is “nurturing a growth mindset.” It’s like going on an Outback hike – you’ll learn and improve every step of the way. As for resources, I’d highly recommend eating “Start with Why” like a warm meat pie – it’s full of insight into purpose-driven leadership.
Thanks to Matt Little, Damien McEvoy Plumbing!
#11- Embracing collaboration
As I see it no one person can do it alone. So my hack is to embrace collaboration in order to maximize your potential opportunities for success both professionally and personally. Because when everyone works together towards achieving common goals amazing things happen. By bringing together a variety of perspectives and expertise from different departments within your organization, you can create solutions that are truly beneficial for your clients and unique compared to what else is out there on the market.
Thanks to Jonathan Ayala, Hudson Condos!
#12- Using your own judgment to make decisions
My hack is; to not use any hacks. There is no single, quick, and simple solution to being a good leader. As the CEO, my job is to use my own judgment to make decisions. I use all the resources I can to make informed and objective decisions based on empirical evidence. I hire experts in the respective field to tell me what I need to know to make the best choice. I am not an accountant or a lawyer; That is why I hire accountants and lawyers to give me financial and legal advice.
Thanks to Troy Webber, Yardsmart App!
#13- Fostering a culture of open communication
As the CEO of ShipSage, I’ve discovered that one of the most impactful CEO hacks is fostering a culture of transparency and open communication within the team. By encouraging collaboration and active feedback, we’ve been able to swiftly adapt to market changes and seize new opportunities. Additionally, staying updated with industry trends through networking events, online forums, and continuous learning resources has been invaluable in steering ShipSage’s growth.
Thanks to Ben Pu, ShipSage!
#14- Simon Sinek's books and speeches
Simon Sinek's books and speeches have been a cornerstone of my entrepreneurial journey, providing invaluable insights on elevating my leadership skills and navigating the complexities of modern business. His profound ideas, rooted in the Golden Circle framework, stress the significance of starting with a clear “why” – the fundamental purpose that propels organizations forward. Sinek's captivating speaking style and thought-provoking presentations have left an indelible mark on my journey.
Thanks to Dmitrii Kustov, RegexSeo!
#15- Professional associations
As the head of a medical practice, I find that professional associations can be a very useful leadership resource. Networking with fellow professionals, as well as attending informative seminars and training, can make you not only a better practitioner but also better equipped to manage a practice and your employees. Continually updating your knowledge and skills is a critical part of being a leader, so professional associations are an important leadership resource.
Thanks to Dr. Bryan Bruno, Mid City TMS!
#16- Trade Shows
Trade shows offer countless opportunities for business leaders, owners, and entrepreneurs, making them an excellent resource. As an exhibitor, you can showcase your products and services, often to a very targeted audience of interested decision-makers. It’s a great way to teach buyers about your value, allow them to handle your products, show off key features with demos, and close deals. You can network not only with prospective buyers and current customers but also partners and vendors.
Thanks to Thomas Samuels, Cardinal Expo!
#17- Self-awareness and diversity
The first thing is to know yourself. What are your strengths? Where could you use some improvement? Knowing what kind of leader you want to be can help guide your decisions as CEO and keep you from getting off track when things get tough. Another important thing is surrounding yourself with people who have different skills than yours—this is called “diversity.” You may not have all the answers, but if you have someone who does, they can make sure that everyone feels heard and valued.
Thanks to Noah Davis, Power Up Cook!
#18- Vistage – groups for business leaders
Vistage — peer groups for small and midsize business leaders. Having been a part of Vistage myself, I've experienced firsthand how transformative this resource can be. The core concept behind Vistage is to cultivate a space that's both confidential and supportive, a place where leaders can openly dive into our toughest decisions, explore fresh ideas, and tap into the insights of a diverse group of peers. Picture a circle of about 12 to 15 fellow leaders, each coming from different industries.
Thanks to Marc Bjerring, Spivo!