Thursday, 05 January 2012 Written by Christopher Demas
Become an Effective Leader
Chances are, you’ve had to work for someone else before. Chances are also that you didn’t like the person you worked for and felt you could do a better job (this is a common trait among young entrepreneurs).
Management is a learning experience, and there are many ways to improve your skills.
1. Remember what it was like to work for someone else
This is valuable insight since once you are in the position of managing others, and it can be hard to regain that perspective long after the fact. Remember what it was like to have to report to someone, and what you would have appreciated in that position.
For example, do you wish your manager gave you more direct feedback? Do you wish your manager had empowered you more or rather given you more guidance? Empathy, or the ability to put yourself in the other persons shoes is an important aspect of becoming a great boss. This exercise also teaches you about more about yourself and what motivates you.
2. Find a mentor
If you’re working at a start-up or have founded your own company, chances are that you don’t have an older, more experienced mentor working with you. For this reason, it’s vital that you have a role model outside your company to look up to.
Especially for young entrepreneurs, great role models are those who have started their own companies, as well as executives at VC firms. A great place to meet these kinds of people is through start-up leadership networking events as well as social networks.
3. Take leadership classes or read books on management
Learning from the experience of others is a great way to make sure that you don’t make the same mistakes. Many community colleges and start-up programs offer leadership classes. These are a great way to formally improve your managerial skills.
Two great reads on this subject is The Good Enough Manager: The Making of a GEM by Professor Aaron Nurick, and The First-Time Manager. Both of these incorporate examples and insight that you will be able to relate to as a young entrepreneur and new manager.