10 lessons every entrepreneur should learn about how to be a good leader

The end of each year is often a time of reflection and self-awareness, with many people taking the time to look at both what went right and what went wrong, and what they can do to improve over the next 365 days. For leaders it can be a time to reflect on their own leadership style, their strengths and weaknesses.

In the past year, the members of Council for Young Entrepreneurs have learned a lot about how to be good leaders and what it means to lead others. Below, they share 10 of the lessons they’ve learned and why they think these are important lessons that any entrepreneur can take insights from.

1. Put the right people in the right place with the right tools

Understand that hardly anyone will work as hard as you for your business. Therefore, to be a good leader you need to deploy the right resources and people and provide them with guidance, support and the necessary tools to be successful. When I was able to implement that strategy, I didn’t care too much about the smallest details because I had the right people to handle those things. This allowed me to spend most of my time building the business, creating new revenue streams and focusing on activities that would benefit the overall health of the business. Remember this: not everyone wants to be an entrepreneur. So we all need people to manage aspects of the business so we can be great leaders. – Phillip Smith, PJP Marketing

2. Communicate well to get through tough times

Leadership is not easy. It takes a lot of knowledge and experience to be a good leader. To be an effective leader, one must not only possess a wealth of knowledge and experience, but also be able to communicate effectively with their followers. Over the past year, despite the restructuring and shifting business objectives, we have been able to maintain a positive attitude and high morale among team members, which helped to keep productivity high. Good communication is key to building a strong relationship with your followers. It helps them understand what you are trying to achieve and why you are making the decisions you are making. It also makes them feel part of the team and that their thoughts and opinions matter. – Noble Inasu, Rainbow Aluminum & Powder Coating Co. LLC

3. Prioritize personal connection

We are still working remotely and will continue to work remotely for the foreseeable future. One thing I’ve learned over the past year is the importance of creating one-on-one face-to-face time with the team. It’s easy for anyone to feel disconnected when they’re working entirely over video chats. Team summits and one-on-one, albeit virtual, are actually vital. They help to develop that valued and essential personal bond between team members, yourself and the organisation. – Jason Frazier, Master media

4. Be the coach and let your team run the race

My daughter runs relay races on the track, and I often use a baton as a metaphor for building great teams – or the ones who take the baton and run it. This year I learned that I had to stop taking over from the team I had built and become the coach in the middle of the circuit where I had to encourage and guide them. I didn’t have to pick up a baton to start or even finish the race. It’s their race to run. They have signed up to participate. I have to let them run the race they chose. I just get the privilege of coaching them to win. That’s one of those mindset shifts that creates freedom for every leader. While I had taught the concept to our clients, it was a great lesson to embody for myself. – Trivinia Barber, PriorityVA

5. Develop flexibility to succeed

Flexibility is one of the most important qualities of leadership. As a leader, you must practice the art of not making assumptions and being ready to adjust your plans without worrying about what you feel “should have been.” To do this, you need to bond with your people. If they trust you, they will share more, and that will give you more time to prepare and more time to adjust when you need to adjust roles or responsibilities. – Matt Doyl, excel builders

6. Lead yourself before you lead others

This year it is becoming increasingly clear that you must first lead yourself before you can lead others. This means taking a step back and really connecting with you — your goals, your mission, your vision, and your values ​​— so you can enroll your team (and your clients) in each of those things. By taking the time to become more self-aware, more in tune with your emotions, and work on yourself, you are setting a great example to those around you. This, in turn, creates a great culture, encourages the freedom for your people to be themselves, and produces great results. – Ryan Dowdy, Uncensored Advice, LLC

7. Inspire others by being your best self

One of the things I’ve learned over the past year about being a good leader is the importance of leading by example. When you’re a leader, it’s important to be someone others can look up to and emulate. This means being someone who is honest, hard-working and open-hearted. By leading by example, leaders can inspire those they work with to be the best they can be and reach their full potential. In addition, setting an example can help build trust between a leader and his team. When team members see that their leader is committed to the same goals and values, they are more likely to feel motivated to follow suit. People are more likely to engage in prosocial behaviors, such as altruism or volunteering, when they see someone else doing the same. – Kelly Richardson, Infobrandz

8. Take responsibility for your failures

Take as much responsibility for the failures as you do for the wins. When you do this, you will now come across with more humility, which will earn you respect from your peers, and it will put you in the driver’s seat of taking control of the situation. This is because the moment you take ownership, you can move on to dwelling on the problems and find solutions instead. – Andy Karuza, NachoNacho

9. Show your vulnerable side

My biggest lesson is that it’s okay to show vulnerability. Sometimes you have to share your hardships and how you managed them to set an example to others that while it may be difficult, there are is a way to process them. People want to understand that leaders are people too and that they struggle too. – Dan Stevens, Protea Financial

10. Join your team so you win together

The way you treat people is so important. Great leaders are not the biggest and loudest; great leaders are those who remain mission-oriented during conflict, defend others, and have a protective instinct for their people. As for an anecdote, I have learned to focus on the concept of alignment. As a leader, you should focus on ways you and your team can win together, rather than ways to win against them. That could mean getting brilliant designs from an outside designer, or having a phenomenal salesperson who needs the flexibility to spend time with their young child. Get a complete picture of who your team members are and align their needs – whether it’s a new skill set or the desire to earn more – with your goals. – Tyler Bray, TK Trailer Parts