Strong Leaders Are Lifetime Students

Entrepreneurial leaders do not have a mindset that adapts to failure.  In fact, when things go wrong, entrepreneurs don’t call them “failures” they call them “glitches, mistakes, or setbacks” approaching the decision-making process knowing there’s a strong likelihood that it could go wrong. This doesn’t dissuade them – to the contrary they just do the best they can and worry about handling obstacles as they arise. A helpful way of looking at it is to realize that you will make mistakes, so make them as quickly as you can in order to learn from them using  them as learning tools!

Entrepreneurs also know the value of “intuition”, there is something to be said about your “gut” feeling about a situation.  Very often business people become so involved with systems and checks-and-balances that they forget about that “gut” instinct they had when they started. You intuition draws on a combination of experience, knowledge, and analysis as well as a lot of “gut” information. You become a strong leader in your business by “practicing” being a leader. As a leader, you have to set standards and hold higher standards for your own behaviour.

We don’t mean the presentation of the Business Plan; we all know that must be well done and attractive.  What we are talking about is YOU!  Do you maintain the appearance of leadership?  Do you project a confident appearance of a successful entrepreneur?  You may not have the faintest idea today how you’re going to pay for that advertising bill coming due on the 15th, but you’re not going to give that banker that information. Presenting yourself as a confident entrepreneur, filled with the excitement of your business idea, and a strong leader of your team (whether it’s 1 or 10 employees) is what will make you a winner and add untold weight to your Business Plan.  After all, you are your business to that banker so you’d better look good and confident.

To protect that faith that your people and your customers have in your organization, always ask yourself these two questions: Could this be interpreted by anyone in a way that would shake their faith in my leadership? Could this be misinterpreted and held against me or the company? Strong leaders know that leadership is a lifelong learning experience, and when they make a mistake they simply continue to move forward.  The ability to bounce back is a quality that every entrepreneur I’ve ever known has in abundance. When you blunder, get up and try again quickly.  As one high-tech executive I knew put it, “Our strategy is to fail forward fast.”


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