As an entrepreneur or the CEO of a start-up, you need to clearly take the lead position, as it is your vision and mission that the team has to take forward. Not all CEOs of start-ups have the experience of leading an organization. But you don’t need to let that inexperience reflect in the way you deal with your people.
Build your ‘A’ Team
This is the most important task that the CEO has to put in place first. Choose your team for the special capabilities that they bring specific to your business. People with domain expertise, with experience setting-up new enterprises, experienced advisers etc. Use them to implement your ideas. You may not have all the attributes to run a business entity, but your team will. Have faith in your team. Allow them to make mistakes. Give them time. No business is an overnight success.
Set up a system for review and accountability
The CEOs job of managing his team becomes easier if a clear set of KRAs and milestones are set for each member and a well-defined periodic review process is followed. This will ensure accountability and adherence to timelines.
Communicate your ideas clearly
This is one area where a lot of business heads fail. Sharing of thoughts and ideas about the business with your team is important as it will serve two purposes – (a) they will know that you are on the job all the time; and (b) it will give them an opportunity to share their opinions and experiences with you and the rest of the team. Such exchanges will only help to better the business plan.
Establish lines of communication
Have an open-door policy. Encourage everyone in your organization to walk in to meet and talk with you. You never know where that winning idea could come from. Keeping your channels open would also help to keep a tab on the mood in the company, especially when things are not going as per plan. Have an open mind and treat each bit of information without any bias or prejudice and give its due credit. In fact, this could help you stay ahead of the curve.
Do not be afraid to make mid-term changes to your plans
As I have mentioned in one of my previous posts, most new ventures have had to change the entire plan atleast once in their life-cycle. By this I do not mean that you need to look at new business ideas and solutions. What normally happens is that the go-to-market or product/service/solution strategies go through major revamp, with acquired knowledge of market realities regarding your business. Most business leaders shy away from doing anything to their product/service/solution, as that is very close to their heart. This takes courage and an astute business mind. Afterall, the business was started to take it to success. It is important to keep your focus on this end-objective.