New startups are like babies: they require constant care, attention, and room for growth. The leaders of startups determine the overall values and tone of the company, making them the most influential people. Whether you are looking to become an entrepreneur or you are looking to hire leaders for your startup, here are five essential skills every startup leader should have.
Startups are notorious for having a few people do all of the work. That means that a small business leader could be switching back and forth between a variety of important projects that have absolutely nothing to do with each other. In order to accomplish everything in a reasonably timely fashion startup leaders must be able to multitask.
Startups require a lot of trial and error, especially if the business model is new within its industry. When things go right then everyone rejoices. When things go wrong then it’s usually the leaders of the business who need to go back to the drawing board to resolve problems. Patience is absolutely crucial to creating quality products and services that meet the needs they were designed to fill, especially when hopeful solutions fail time and time again.
3. Conflict Resolution
While this is a good skill for any profession, it is a necessary skill for the leader of a startup. Conflicts arise all the time with vendors, coworkers, competitors, and clients/customers of a new business. Conflicts tend to arise the most whenever the business is branching into something new or attempting to grow. When conflicts come up, it’s the leaders of the business who are expected to figure out the answers. This sometimes involves awkward confrontation and undesirable compromise.
The ability to compromise is an important skill when resolving conflicts. It is also important, however, when working with your team. Whether you are an entrepreneur working alone or part of a leadership team, the truth remains that a business never forms exactly the way you intend it to. Things change and ideas fail on a regular basis. When that happens, it is important that you are able to compromise. Remember your long-term goals and be willing to compromise about the little stuff to achieve a greater victory.
Skills are things that you can learn and develop. Some passions come naturally while others are learned over time. Regardless of where it comes from a startup leader must strongly believe in the mission of the business. In addition to having the passion a startup leader must know how to turn that passion into productive action. Is your business focused around engineering? If so, then you may want to consider getting a master’s engineering management as having the education to back up your skills set will help you become a better leader.
There are many skills that make a good leader. A very specific list determines what makes a good leader for a new startup. While not exhaustive, this list gives a good overview of some key skills someone should possess when taking on a leadership role at a new company.