This is one part of an ongoing series on www.entpathways.com. In this article, we're discussing the skill of networking.
Our program, Entrepreneur Journey, focuses on teaching high school students how to become entrepreneurs. Part of this is learning the skills of an entrepreneur, including leadership. Leadership is about inspiring others and getting them to buy into a vision. Entrepreneurs should have passion and a clear vision to make good decisions full of integrity and high morals. People desire to be led by those who set a standard of excellence.
Think of the great leaders in your life, or those you admire in history.
Leadership Versus Management
Leadership is not management. Leadership is earned. Management is authority given by way of position.
Leadership is about inspiring people to follow. Management is about looking at outcomes and tweaking systems to make those outcomes more beneficial.
People don’t just follow blindly. They need to understand and believe in the vision if an entrepreneur is to become a true leader.
A true leader can connect the good of the business with the good of the individuals, therefore making that business a reality. By painting a clear picture about what could be, entrepreneurs inspire others to get on board, to work hard, and to push forward the efforts of the business, knowing they are benefitting everyone.
What Can You Do For Me?
Great leaders understand the needs of the followers. They learn what motivates them and what resources they need to get the job done. Then they work hard to get the tools and resources for followers to succeed.
Great leadership means empowering others by challenging them and supporting them in their roles.
Speak Little, Hear More
Despite what you might think, you can find a leader in a meeting by seeing who is listening more than they are talking.
Entrepreneurs are at their best when they listen. Therefore, they can understand the needs of others and help support them.
"Character Does Count"
Leaders must have high integrity if they want others to follow them and support their vision and goals.
For example, individuals who are negative about others in the workplace are not likely to act as leaders, because listeners will assume the individual is negative about them when they are not around. Followers want a leader who engages in ethical, positive behavior.
To succeed as a leader, you must "practice what you preach."