Creating an entrepreneurial work environment
GROWING ANY BUSINESS IS DIFFICULT BUT GROWING A STARTUP INTO A BUSINESS REQUIRES EXTENSIVE SKILL TO CREATE AN ENTREPRENEURIAL WORK ENVIRONMENT. THIS MEANS TAKING YOUR GREATEST STRENGTHS AND APPLYING A REFINED MANAGEMENT STYLE THAT INVOLVES SHARING WITH YOUR TEAM AND BECOMING A STRONG LEADER. HERE ARE SOME THINGS YOU’LL NEED TO SHARE.
Entrepreneurs are risk takers. Recruiting new folks to share the risk will require you to sell the vision. While the unknown risks of establishing the business were acceptable to you, potential new team members will not wish to relive your experience either personally or from your retelling the horrors. Best to move on and talk of the now-lessened risk and the rewards that are available. It is important to share the fact that they too will be risk takers but are involved in something special.
It’s easy for entrepreneurs to assume that everyone will share their commitment to your business. Building a team will require you to step back from this impulse. Selling the dream to a newbie and accepting that above average commitment is to be rewarded. Any candidate on your team will need to understand that you are totally committed and that they are expected to give above average commitment to be on the team and share the rewards.
Innovation and entrepreneurship are not natural bedfellows for a team player. Entrepreneurial work environments are team oriented but such teams are not to be confused with a commune. Entrepreneurs will lead and the team will need to accept that is the way it is. The team members must be more mature than the usual team players and accept the reality that they are on a team that is taking risks to achieve above normal results. The team will benefit but it will have a dominant leader.
Driven people will be attracted to an entrepreneurial work environment because they are naturally results oriented. The leader will have considerable licence to be demanding if they focus on the outputs and not the social niceties in which non-entrepreneurial teams operate.
Business plans are the template for any business. Entrepreneurs survive because they have that gut feeling when things are not going to plan or the plan is not meeting their goals. Rapid change is required for startups to succeed and this characteristic of entrepreneurs can drive normal orderly folks insane. Be open and declare that your startup is a change-embracing environment and plans are as good as the day they were written.
Leaders don’t have to be loved, but they must be respected. The surest way to gain respect is to give respect. Entrepreneurs are erratic, emotional and usually intolerant. Building a business from a startup requires the entrepreneur to practise self-management such that they give lots of respect. It may not come naturally. Respect is not to be confused with tolerating poor performance. If the agreed outcomes are not forthcoming, maybe a respectful discussion and an equally respectful parting of the ways will address the issue. Better to part as disappointed ex colleagues than continue until there is no mutual respect.
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