"Leadership is about making things possible, management is about making them happen."This neat quote comes from Lord Karan Bilimoria who founded Cobra Beer, a drink which interestingly, was born and raised in Britain.
For the start-up entrepreneur the distinction between manager and leader is, of course, unrealistic; we're expected to cover all bases in the early stages. And nor is leadership just for leaders - those qualities can and should be displayed in both our personal and professional lives.
Below are 10 of 20 tips about leadership gleaned from a two-day session on the Lloyds Bank School for Social Entrepreneurs Programme at the Eastern Enterprise Hub in Ipswich:
- The lone entrepreneur will very quickly start talking about 'we' (even when it is just you!) This is not just about pretending the set-up is more than it is; it's probably a subconscious reference to the many hats being worn.
- If you have no track record in business, you may need to establish your credentials through past connections and roles - assuming you have some that are genuine and relevant.
- When setting out, learn to listen (and shut up for 80% of the time you're meeting people). If you're looking for advice, give people a chance to volunteer their ideas and insights; resist the temptation to over-egg your pitch.
- Invite feedback on what's wrong with your ideas. Welcome 'but what if..?' 'what about..?' and 'have you thought about...?' type questions.
- Supporters need reassurance that you know what you're doing, before they invest their time and/or money. This means being upfront in your presentations about potential risks and how you plan to address them.
- 6. To quote the late Michael Young [a serial entrepreneur behind a vast number of institutions and charities including the School for Social Entrepreneurs and the Open University]"social entrepreneurs should be high-minded and hard-headed".
- 7. You don't need to ask permission to start your enterprise - just do it - and don't give up too soon. If it's not working as planned, you may simply need to change tack.
- 8. Always go into a meeting with your personal objectives - what you want to achieve by the time you leave.
- There are [at least] three types of objectives: those that are main; stretch objectives which are effectively your wish-list; fall back objectives - what you'll settle for as a minimum.
- Get people on board by helping them solve their problems by helping you as well. WIIFM (what's in it for me) is a great motivator. Trust is another important element in any relationship.
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