How To Be A Great Leader, CEO & Founder?
Great leaders make magic happen and conquer the impossible. Many articles and videos on leadership and the required skill-sets and mindsets exist. For people simply looking for quick & precise advice in a point form, today, I would like to share six to-do items that anyone at any age can start to kick-start and attempt to perfect the art of leadership. For me, the most significant positive impact is executing item #3 in the list below, in which I have witnessed the gifts and magics in my work and personal life.
Source of my own learning on leadership
These six suggestions came together via reflections of life, a summary of great TED talks (like Simon Sinek, Brené Brown & Derek Sivers) and speeches/sharing from world-class startup entrepreneurs like Elon Musk and accelerators like Y Combinator. This learning only became apparent when I am now trying to prevent the mistakes and wisdom I have the great honor to experience via my two failed ventures and over 30 years of learning in both the corporate and startup world as a mentor and early-stage investor.
My own challenge on learning how to become one
Leadership is a life-time mastery
One of the most challenging learning for me even today is to learn how to find the steps and determine the optimal sequence of doing things. I now realize this process is a life-learning journey as we embark on solving a problem that has not yet a successful SOP or example. As a result, leadership becomes a must-learning item in life because it is complicated to tackle and conquer things in life solely on your own.
My regrets and motivation to get it right
Before sharing my learning about leadership, I want to thank everyone I have worked with for your patience, tolerance, and care in giving me a chance to lead. In my early days when I was a manager and co-founder of my venture, now looking back, I definitely missed out on how many opportunities to work with people who were better than I. It was only until only about 2 years ago, I realized that I had it all wrong on how to be the best leader that I could have been.
It is not to late to adopt, then adapt. There are still chances to make it right
Leadership was not clear to me, because I failed to learn and be coach-ble about the disastrous mistake I could have avoid earlier in my life. Today, I am fortunate to understand how leaders are leading by building the movement and creating super teams that have clear focus and know exactly what not to do, in order to achieve the unthinkable.
Six recommended to-dos for becoming a great leader
Inspires with a shared vision, invites people to join the movement, and makes significant impacts (dare to dream with resilience with a clear north star)
Shares vulnerability and is 110% accountable with no blaming and criticism. (out of comfort zone)
Starts a conversation with "how can I help" instead of "why is this not yet completed". (leader and not manager)
Brings people together, empowers talents to execute, and delivers measurable results as a team with momentum. (road to success)
Builds a working environment and culture where A+ talents and partners with resources join together to co-create under the same mission/purpose ("it is not about me" and on-board people who truly care for the cause and are ready to contribute)
Celebrates successes, recognizes people's contributions, and genuinely appreciates them. (grow through the shared outcomes)
Advice for everyone
Leadership is ongoing life learning. If you are a startup co-founder or corporate manager, hopefully, adopting these six suggestions hopefully would immediately yield results and enhance the productivity and outcome you are looking for.
During this process, read, mediate, join a group mentor-ship program or get a mentor would definitely accelerate the process and reduce the negative impact when making the wrong decision as leader.
Wish you all the best and believe in yourself.