When most people think about entrepreneurs and startups they see the driven, creative genius founder spinning up new ideas and pushing her team to get the idea turned into a product and subsequently into the market.
That’s may be part of the story. But at least equally important is the entrepreneurs’ ability to lead. And leadership takes continuous, often counterintuitive, ego-minimizing work.
A leader’s job is to create a compelling vision; help everyone on your team understand that vision and what it takes to get there (the strategy and tactics of turning vision into action and results) and to make sure everyone works together toward this goal.
This is hard, unglamorous work. It requires discipline, empathy and lots of self-work on behalf of the leader. And it pays off: Alan Mulally, ex-CEO of Ford and Boeing, frames this as “Working together works. Smart people working together always works.”
To get you started on this path — spend some time on figuring out your own strength and weaknesses (e.g. by taking the StrengthsFinder assessment) and read up on leadership models on sites such as Harvard Business Review.