August 2, 2017
Running a busy digital startup means I’m having to juggle a lot on a daily basis. From sales and recruitment calls, to team meetings and business development. If you are a founder, then you can relate to being pulled in all directions.
As a cofounder at Seeker Digital, I have put my own leadership skills to the test over the past year. Here are seven key lessons I have learned to maximize my team’s efficiency.
Compromise Isn’t an Ugly Word
The art of compromise can be a tough lesson to learn, but being able to effectively compromise makes you a better leader in the long run. Compromise happens when you care and listen to what others have to say — and no leader should be blinded by their own vision.
Be willing to hear people out and make concessions, and you will find that projects and tasks will get completed quicker, and with less friction.
At the same time, you should never compromise on your ethics. Compromise on behaviors, not on values.
Team Culture Starts With You
The right sort of culture is paramount to keeping a business running smoothly, and as a leader, you need to ensure that you have the right attitude.
It’s a good idea to be open and transparent with your team — keeping them happy and motivated is a big part of your role. Ask them for feedback, and take their suggestions on board whenever you can.
Opportunity Follows Capability
Leaders need to learn how to hire faster. Get people in through those doors as quickly as you can and watch your business grow. Don’t be afraid to hire new team members, their ideas and energy will naturally breed business opportunities.
It’s important to consider team dynamics when hiring and be mindful of different personalities to balance things out. What you don’t want to happen is hire people that could create a toxic team.
Pick a Specialism
It’s much easier to become known if you specialize in something. Instead of spreading yourself across an array of skillsets, get really good at a few things. Yes, you can do it all, but do you really want to? The best clients, bigger budgets, and the most meaningful projects usually follow specialists, not generalists.
Don’t Take on Bad Clients
Whatever you do, don’t bring in bad business. You need to ensure that the business that is coming in is right for the team. New work should be profitable, manageable, and offer development opportunities. It’s OK to say yes to a few passion projects every now and then, but profitability can’t be compromised.
Motivation Matters the Most
As a leader, you need a tremendous amount of energy to keep everyone else motivated. Your own motivation levels need to be closely guarded and managed.
Think about where you get your motivational resources from, and factor those activities and behaviors into your calendar. Whether you get on the phone and talk to your close associates, go out networking, or attend a conference — keep reminding yourself why it is that you do what you. Networking is an important resource and motivator for leaders, especially in the pressurized tech start up world
Innovate, Don’t Stagnate
In order to stay ahead in the ever-changing tech landscape, you need to be constantly pushing the envelope for clients. If you don’t stay ahead of the game, you won’t even be on the pitch in three years time. That is how fast things move in tech! Make sure there is allocated company budget and time for innovation.
Read more about building a positive team culture at TechCo
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