10 Leadership Characteristics for the Young Leaders
You know you are young and ambitious, but you also know that there are limitations preventing you from reaching your apex. Your community is either slow or uninterested with your ideas, and the thought of succeeding in life in whichever form it is seems like a pipe dream or a nightmare once you say it out loud. If this is you then read along.
Entrepreneurial leadership involves organizing and motivating a group of people to achieve a common objective through innovation, risk optimization, taking advantage of opportunities, and managing the dynamic organizational environment. This will often apply in the business set up but not always. For most young folks, before they raise the optimal capital to start it right, the risk of failure is already their long time friend. That is why you need to start small and build up the muscles needed to scale yourself to the required heights. Many will get a chance to be a leader in school as class prefects or class representatives or student leaders; little do they know that these are seeds of faith into their journey into entrepreneurial success. From here, think of how you can brush up your skillsets at church/mosque, the estate/community level or simply take responsibility in various family roles
The traditional corporate mindset has its focus on systems and processes, whereas you, the entrepreneurial style is more risk oriented. At first you will be turned off, but go in slowly until you can confortable take in more responsibilities.
Some of the common entrepreneurial leadership characteristics are as follows.
- Communication skills
As a leader, you should be able to clearly articulate your ideas, and the plan to achieve common goals. See how you can encourage communication between groups or departments and across levels. Strictly avoid ambiguities and generalizations, and while at it avoid unnecessary conflict and misunderstandings due to poor communication.
A successful entrepreneurial leader has a clear vision. You must see the end from the beginning, and you must seek to know how to get there. How will you communicate your vision to the team and work with them to make the vision a reality.
To be supportive is to take initiative. It is not always easy but you need to go out of your way to provide all the support that the team needs to achieve their goals. The leader usually does not punish team members when they take a calculated risk which misfires. Instead, find ways to analyze what went wrong and work with them to correct the mistakes.
The leader has tremendous belief in themselves and has confidence gained from years of experimenting, at times failing, and learning. This should not be confused with being egoistic or overconfident. They are aware of their strengths and weaknesses, and demonstrate their skills without hubris. An entrepreneurial leader is very self-assured. Such character gives so much peace to the team members during a storm.
- Shares success
All teams will from time to time reach an incredible milestone & success. Don’t hog the limelight or take all the credit. They acknowledge the contribution of others and share the accolades with them. Infact, give the juniors a chance to enjoy the win.
- Get Involved
Take your time to be among your team members & employees. Interact with everyone, and see them doing their job. Otherwise, how else will you see areas of innovation? Take some time out to informally chat with colleagues/employees, and understand their work and personal challenges.
- Create an atmosphere conducive to growth
Without your team, you will not make it. With a deep understanding of the importance of other people’s contribution to organizational success, create an atmosphere that encourages everyone to share ideas, grow, and thrive. Provides positive feedback when employees come forward with an opinion. Encourage them to come up with solutions to the problems that they face.
Honesty quickly wins the trust of employees. People respect leaders to come across as honest, and are more likely to accept positive or negative feedback and also work harder.
It is never always a smooth sail, and when the going gets tough, then perseverance is expected. True entrepreneurs simply don’t quit, they keep going till they find what they’re looking for.
Finally, you the leader should always be growing in knowledge. You must not only invests significantly in learning and updating your knowledge, but also create a learning environment in the organization encouraging others to improve their knowledge, widen their experience, and tackle multiple challenges. Get to encourage employees to think outside the box and come up with creative solutions to problems.
These can be applied in almost any set up that has human interaction – which inevitable must need leaders of some sort. Don’t wait to be appointed, take your time and practice the skills.