Start Up Notes

How to be a great start-up leader

Every successful start-up needs a leader, but there’s a lot more to it than distributing workloads.

Setting up a new business is a thrilling experience, and establishing your team helps to make the dream become a reality. Whether you’ve lead a team before or not, it’s important to understand the small steps you can take that make the difference between being ‘just a boss’ to being a truly great leader.

Don’t be afraid to make friends

Working in a start-up, you’re all in the same boat and have the same goals; helping the company come to fruition. Recognise this and you’ll quickly see the benefits of making mates with your team.

It’s easy to do this outside of the working day (“happy hour after work, anyone?” usually does the trick), but you can still make friends in the office while keeping things professional. The easiest and most important way to do this is simply to listen.

Whether it’s about their plans for dinner or their feelings about a particular project, show you care by making the time to hear what they have to say.

No task too small

No one likes to work with someone who thinks they’re above certain tasks, least of all someone who is supposed to lead. Whilst a good team understands delegation, staff will lose interest if you always take the interesting projects, leaving them with the grunt work.

Show you’re not afraid to get your hands dirty when necessary, answering phone calls and emails, tidying the office and partaking in administration tasks. Your work force is much more likely to embrace these tasks if you lead by example – and they’ll respect you for doing things you don’t have to.

White Board

Share your wisdom

Experience in your field of expertise leads to establishing a start-up in the first place, and your employees will look to you for advice. Don’t withhold any of your wisdom – the right employees want to grow, and you can best serve your company by helping them to flourish.

Whether it’s as part of a casual chat, or a weekly presentation, it’s important you share what you know with your staff.

Recognise your weaknesses

Bearing the above in mind, you’re not perfect. Rather than trying to be all things to all people, recognise your weaknesses, and hire those who excel where you don’t. Some people might be scared to bring in those who are better than themselves in some respects, but those people are the ones who fail.

Hiring those who compliment your weaknesses will help the business to succeed. Moreover, publicly acknowledging what your staff are good at will give them a boost of confidence that will lead to greater work and a more successful start-up.