By Adam Stott, award-winning entrepreneur, international business and wealth coach and founder Big Business Events
Before a budding entrepreneur can lead other people there is one important personthey need to be able to lead and be in control of – and that is themselves.
A good and inspirational leader, who will bring the best out of their workforce and other people within their business circles, needs to manage their mindset and mentality and make sure they embrace creativity and innovation.
One of the biggest obstacles that prevents people from becoming a great leader is fear.
It can be fear of failure or of the unknown, even fear of the consequences of success, but fear can lead to inertia, which can sound the death knell for a business.
People can back away from the things they want because they become afraid.
In my experience, a good leader doesn’t shy away from the things they are afraid of – they actually move towards them.
They aren’t delusional and realise that it’s going to be tough, but they reason that breaking free of their comfort zone can lead to change for the better.
A successful leader needs to developa strong mindset that doesn’t dwell on past situations and not carry unnecessary anger and regret.
A desire to look at how things can be done differently can act as a catalyst and help propel a business forwardand help it stand out in its marketplace.
Facing fear can be integral to creating a culture of creativity and innovation that are essential to the growth and development of a business.
Mistakes shouldn’t be regarded as failures, but an opportunity to take stock and learn.
In such circumstances, a successful leader has the ability to stand back and ask themselves a series of key questions:
- What did you learn about yourself?
- What did it teach you about your business?
- Were there any positives?
- Why didn’t it work?
- Is it going to help you to do things differently?
I believe most successful business leaders often learn more from their ‘losses’ than their wins and that mistakes and failures have made them stronger.
The challenge is to not let any ‘losses’ define you and, in the aftermath,feel that you can’t succeed. A good leader has the ability to pick themselves up, benefit from what has happened and push on to achieve success in the future.
A good business leader understands that success comes from moving forward not from standing still not from looking back – whatever’s happened in the past is the past. An entrepreneur’s focus should be all about the future.
An ability to move and think fast to capitalise on any innovative ideas is key. As sitting on an idea for months runs the risk of letting a potentially lucrative opportunity pass by.
By not acting all you are doing is wasting time when you could be building a better future for, and getting better outcomes to sustain, your business and your workforce.
Most successful leaders I have come across are focused on speed of implementation and, as a result, their business thrive whether the economy is at a high or a low.
Another trait of a great leader is the ability to turn a problem into an opportunity. Equally important ensuring you have good people around you. This includes mentors, coaches, advisers, fellow company executives and, most importantly, employees.
I can give you a personal example from when I was running an automotive business employing hundreds of staff and selling thousands of cars a year.
December was a month when the industry came to a standstill and most people’s mindset in that sector was nobody is buying cars in December. It was just something you lived with.
My business coach challenged me not to accept the status quo and pointed out this belief pattern and December defeatism should be banished. Thefocus shouldbe how to make December great?
I realised to achieve this that we would have to do something really different, and the answer was to tap into the attitude and outlook people have in December.
A car showroom is a vast space that can be put to other uses in December – not much of a risk as people are not interest in vehicles that month.
We cleared out the cars and, set up a Santa’s grotto, put in a giant ice skating rink, I arranged for a couple of celebrity friends to come in and speak, meet and greet, we gave away free refreshments, had a choir and invited in local businesses to put up marquees and sell their wares among other Christmas-themed attractions.
About 5,000 people visited and during thesefestivities and through this indirect approach, we sold 350 vehicles.
The valuable lesson I learnt from this, and a trait I since have seen and appreciated in exceptional business leaders, is not to be afraid to do things differently from everyone else.
In fact, they don’t merely think outside the box, but tear the whole box up, throw it away and come up with a brand-new concept.
Successful entrepreneurs continually challenge what is accepted as the norm and those businesses prosperby being prepared to disrupt how marketstraditionally operate.