New perspective of leadership

Leadership is eminent in all walks of life, professions and all industries. Without leadership, nothing will ever move forward, people would not have the desire to move forward and be winners. Moreover ideas on leadership are many times one tracked and ambiguous. Most believe to be a leader you have to make all decisions, or you have to be the first to do something, you have to know the most, be the best….be perfect.

Now there are many ways to lead but only a few that I practice and one that I will touch on. My three go to ways to lead is leading by example, by delegation, and from the back. Now the first two may be quite obvious but the third is many times not utilized but can be the most effective.

Moreover, this method produces more result when you are working with a team of your peers, which is the case in most situations. To clarify leading from the back doesn’t mean to just sit in a corner and watch and only speak when something is wrong. Leading from the back means to share your leadership with those that you are leading. Shedding the image of an authoritarian, tyrant, or parent. There is a leader in everyone and with this method you allow your team to develop as leaders of their own.

Leading From the Back

Leading from the back is extremely beneficial, in part, it makes everyone feel empowered. Thus by empowering your team it motivates them, makes them feel that they truly matter as a part of the team, which they should. On the other hand if your team isn’t empowered and motivated in achieving the goals you set out for, you are more likely to fail. In addition, it is not only advantageous to empower your team but it will also be a great learning experience for you as a leader. As I stated earlier, there is a leader in everyone and to lead from the back you must bring out those qualities. Although many people do not hold all the bewildering “qualities” of a leader, every person on the team will have something they can contribute.

As a leader leading from the back you will be able to learn more about how to lead your team, you won’t look inadequate because you can’t answer all questions or accomplish every task. Moreover, leading from the back can be performed in many different ways. To provide an illustration, you can simply lead from the back by learning something new and applicable towards your leadership from your team mates. This will show the team member that they play a significant role in the team. Also you can lead from the back by simply staying quiet. Allow your team members to work out solutions and goals with little direction. As you stay quiet you will have the chance to draw out the leadership qualities in each of your team members. Furthermore, a leader that does so from the back is likely to provide more guidance rather than demands. Lastly, do not rely on your team member to take on the full responsibilities of a leader, because that will make you look inadequate. Yet, give them the opportunity to be leaders in their own respect.

If you lead from the back you will empower your team, to become motivated towards reaching the same goals. Also with this method you will gain respect of your members. It will show that you respect them as well and, in turn, they will respect you. Lastly, leading from the back allows you to learn about the qualities of your team and also to learn applicable qualities you may not possess so you can become a better leader.

You would get further leading a team of leaders than just pulling dead weight. empower your team!

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6 Tips of networking for the young entrepreneur

Building a network is one the most important tools you can have as an entrepreneur. Especially for a first time entrepreneur whether you have a business idea or are looking for one, building your network will be a vital stepping stone into entrepreneurship.

Find like minded entrepreneurs

The first people you should talk to will be new entrepreneurs like yourself, those at a similar stage as you. These will be the like minded friend that will stretch you along the way. Entrepreneurs are innately competitive so when you see others getting a ahead it’ll push you to do the same. A great benefit of building relationships with entrepreneurs similar to you is they will be you’re early and long term supporters. You will share a special bond and they will be very supportive as you progress.

Look outside your industry

When building a network you need to be diverse. It is very wise to build lasting relationships with those outside your industry and with different interests and expertise. With a more diverse network you’ll have a stronger team because you can take a piece of what others know and be more flexible in accessing information or people outside your field.

Take the ‘What can I do to help you” approach

Many times when people are networking and meeting other professionals they can get caught up in how can the other person help them reach their goals. A more effective approach is to approach networking with a good heart. As you learn about the other person, think of ways you can help them accomplish their goals. At New York Entrepreneur Week, Dan Lack, founder of Meeting of the Big Minds professed that when he reaches out to someone all he’s thinking is “How can I be your friend” and “What can I do to help you”. It is not always about “what can this person do for me” but many times it is “what can i do for them”.

Find veterans

As you network you will also want to build relationships with veteran entrepreneurs. These seasoned entrepreneurs may be future advisors, mentors, or people that connect you to game changers in further ventures. An entrepreneur is not always someone who has started a business. They may also be professionals that are very successful in their industry or making a positive difference in the world. When you look to connect with these seasoned fellows it is very important to find something you connect on, this will allow you to leave a lasting impression. A strong impression is vital because everyone wants these peoples attention so you need a reason to be relevant.

Look for advisors and mentors

Although you have to be careful when looking for advisors or mentors as you don’t want to have a conflict of interest. It may be tempting to talk to an advisor who does so for a profession, i.e financial advisor,  business advisor etc…it may start to be a conflict of interest or they may expect something you’re not willing to deliver ( money). There are ways around this, an option may be to look at past employers or people you may have connected with at internships, and especially past professors. It’s very important that when looking for advisors in your network or when building a network that you be sure to do your due diligence. It helps tremendously, when looking for potential mentors/advisers, to reach out to those with vision and the ability to think big. The last thing you’d want is for them to limit you in any way.

Know what you’re trying to do

Lastly, before you begin to aggressively build your network, you must first look at yourself and really define who you are and identify your goals. You must know what you’re looking to gain from each networking event or encounter. If you know what you’re trying to accomplish or know what kinds of people you need to connect with for your business it’ll help you to be more effective. It will also help people understand who you are quicker and more effectively.

If they can’t understand who you are or what your business is about or even what business you’re actually working on they will easily forget who you are. Furthermore, this can also you can affect your credibility and professionalism if you don’t make it easy for people to know what you’re about.

Reach out to others with a good heart and a mind open to learning

Opeyemi Thomas: Mentor, speaker and entrepreneur, passionate about entrepreneurial education and positive world changing innovation. Member of TheCashflow Ambassadors and founder of Ylearner.com
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