Some people take to business leadership fairly quickly and naturally, while for others this process is more of a struggle and it takes longer for the essentials to sink in. Here, we explore three lessons that all successful entrepreneurs learn at some stage in their journey.
- They can’t control everything that happens within their companies
Especially if they’ve built their businesses from the ground up, it can be difficult for people to give others within their teams the opportunity to make decisions. Often, there’s an instinct to keep control of everything, even the smallest of day-to-day tasks. However, as companies grow, it’s crucial that entrepreneurs learn to let go of certain things and allow others to step in. Trying to micromanage everything can cause people’s stress levels to soar. Also, as Cobra Group chairman and founder Chris Niarchos notes, it can prevent business leaders from devoting enough attention to strategic planning. Having the confidence to cede certain responsibilities and to allow appropriate personnel to make decisions frees entrepreneurs up to focus on the bigger picture and to make sure their companies are moving in the right direction.
- A sustainable work-life balance is essential
Sometimes, working extremely long days is unavoidable. This is simply part and parcel of heading up a company. However, clocking up very long hours and not seeing enough of family and friends isn’t sustainable in the long term. Eventually, this can lead to burnout. In order to stay motivated, happy and energised, entrepreneurs have to find a way to achieve a healthy work-life balance. Commenting on this issue, Virgin Group founder Richard Branson suggested that during the first few years of a business venture, people need to plan and prioritise family time with the same detail they would a business trip. He also highlighted the benefits of delegating as a means of freeing up time.
- There’s no room for ego when hiring decision makers
As companies grow, entrepreneurs need to surround themselves with a talented team. This means ensuring that ego doesn’t get in the way of making the right hires. When confronted with dynamic, highly intelligent candidates, business leaders can sometimes feel threatened. This may cloud their judgement and cause them to pass up the best people. Rather than viewing these individuals as a threat, it’s vital that entrepreneurs appreciate the value they could bring to their companies. The savviest businesspeople focus on what they do best and give others the freedom to excel in their own areas of expertise.
The more quickly entrepreneurs can learn lessons like these, the smoother and less stressful their path to success should be.