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What It Takes To Lead A Startup

What does it take to manage a team of people, inspiring them to produce their best work while ensuring your startup’s success? Each company comes with a unique set of challenges that are particular to the context, although there are several things all leaders should keep in mind when it comes creating the most productive of environments.




The Team

When hiring employees for a new position or team it’s important to hire applicants who already reflect the company culture in which you’re working. The road your company is to take is already clear and you know what you’d like in an employee. Now, find applicants who are willing to respect your role within this plan and within this company culture and the innovation will build from this group of people working together.


Learn From Mistakes

When you’ve hired a talented group, then empower them by giving them full responsibility. This includes responsibility for their achievements and the mistakes made along the way. In this way, mistakes can be viewed as simply miscalculated, and an opportunity for the individual to learn. It’s more productive that each team member feel that they can follow through with their decisions rather than think they are being scrutinized at every point in the decision making process.



The Vision

That the vision of your company is clear determines how your employees will respond to their responsibilities and thus their stake in making the company a success. “Any team rallied around an articulated vision and stoked with sense of greater purpose can defy the impossible and achieve great things. Your job is to be a coach and a cheerleader in one very inspiring personality.” says Christopher Kelly of Sentry Centers.



Learn to Listen

Suggestions on how to improve things from the scope of things both micro and macro should not only be welcomed, but encouraged. The secretary to the CEO should feel open to express the changes they feel necessary in order to make their role in the company efficient. This culture of openness encourages both creative thinking and innovation that will assures the good health of your company.


“Reward those who speak up and demonstrate creative thinking. You never want someone in your office to be afraid to share their ideas. Foster that open environment where everyone has the confidence to speak up, and you’ll see innovation coming to the surface.” says Nathan Lustig of Entrustet.


Nancy T. Nguyen of Sweet T agrees that listening to the comments around you will benefit your company. She says “Listen carefully to yourself, your clients, your employees, and the media. You might hear something that will create new ideas to execute. People who care about your business will constantly give advice.”



Part of being able to listen with an open mind is the exercise of exposing yourself to not only the ideas but to the people with the new ideas. If at possible, get to know your staff and what exactly motivates them as your project time with increases. Further, if they see you getting your “hands dirty” once in awhile instead of just directing then it will produce good performance.


Doreen Bloch of Poshly Inc. notes that, “Innovation is driven by exposure to new ideas, people, and work. One of the keys to being an innovation-driving startup leader is to encourage yourself and your employees to constantly learn.”






The task of leading a team to success is never finished although with an open mind and an open ear to your team, you’re well on your way to success. While these are just some of the important ideas on how to best lead your startup, each startup will prove its own unique challenge. Remember, these skills can be learned and improved every day. As long as that’s understood, then you’ve taken an important step forward.


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Author : Sam Melon

Sam finds writing to be a positive and relaxing way to process his experiences. Luckily, he's in a position where he can spend much of his time doing just that! When he's not writing, he enjoys taking photographs, playing music, and having a nice chat or two.

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